Monday, May 14, 2012

Is There A Fourth Wall In Writing?

So I am reading a book right now that is part of a mini series of a series, hope I didn’t lose you there. Anyway, so in this book I am learning some things that I find irritating in writing.  One major thing being, breaking the fourth wall.  The narrator of the book I am reading, which shall remain nameless, keeps having a conversation with the reader. The author’s favorite thing to do is ask the read rhetorical questions.  I really hate that.  I hate that I am engrossed in the story and I am feverishly reading and getting my mind in the heads of the characters and there situations, and then bam!, I am suddenly pulled out of the story with some “witty banter”. Why?

Now granted this book is from the 90s and it’s Young Adult, but I started to wonder if teenagers from that time found this interesting.  Then it hit me, umm duhhhh, I was a teenage from that time, lol.  And no, I didn’t find stuff like that interesting.  I had read other books from the series that were written by other author’s, and I assumed that all the authors got notes on how to narrate the story so they would all have the same feel, but none of the other books I read really broke that 4th wall.  Nope, they did something else I don’t like instead.  Foretelling.

Ok, so umm, I am reading through this book for a reason.  To find out what’s going to happen.  So why would you tell me about what is going to happen before I even get to the event?  And after reading some great advice blog posts about showing instead of telling a story, I can better understand what the advice meant. Along with the foretelling in these stories there is also a lot of telling in general.  I don’t want to be told how she is feeling.  I want her actions to speak words. I want to be pulled into her mind and if she beats the crap out of something because her boyfriend dumped her, I want to feel her rage by being shown it.  I don’t want to read, “Lily was really angry”.  No, just no.

And one last thing these books are becoming irritatingly know for are putting words into the characters’ mouths that would not normally be coming out of them. The characters in this book like to do the swears that are always cut off at just the right moment, or it is just said they swore. So I know these characters outside these books in another form of media and they are not the cursing kind, at least not to the extent in this book. It’s just this one author that I have seen has them cursing. Now I’m not against cursing, but only if it fits the character.  These words do not fit the characters at all.  I’m not sure if the books were going for shock value or if they were trying to use the “lingo” us kids were using back in the day, but it just failed to “impress”.  I have two more books with this author and if it weren’t for me wanting know how it ended I would have stopped at book one.

So yeah, I had to share my little thoughts with you all on that.  I’m glad to see that my way of reading is changing and I am finally learning what I do and don’t like about writing. I feel guilty not liking something about someone’s creation, but if I do become successful at becoming published, I know I will face the same sticky wrath of judgment.  So I might as well have my say.  Speaking of which, I may post some more book issues in the future, but I would like to let it be known that I won’t be telling the titles of any of the books in question simply because while I might not like a technique used by a writer it doesn’t mean I will bash them in a public forum like my blog.  I just want to share my reader’s observations in hopes that they may help someone else with their writing.

And on that note I am going to close for now. It’s almost 5 am and I’m super tired now. I want to read one more chapter, but it’s really late now. I’ll read more later.  And I will talk to you all later as well.  Be good until then.  Bye for now.

Barely able to keep her eyes open,

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