Friday, June 04, 2004

Sparse and Pan

My prose tends to be tight. I write dialog and action, keeping my description to a bare minumum. Later I have to go back and fill in colors and smells. It's like a movie script - only brief mentions of props have to change into an intricately detailed visual experience.

Speaking of movies, I just watched the new Peter Pan. The complex sets perfectly matched the stunning acting, though a few lines spoken didn't seem to fit the rest of the movie. The featurettes on the making of the movie only added to the experience. You could see how it came alive. I wish the best novelists would do that with their writing - allow others to see how they create the magic.


Anonymous said...

I read an "annotated" version of the Hobbit that was interesting, but it wasn't annotated by Tolkien, but rather a Tolkien scholar. I guess that is similar to the "directors' commentary" on DVD movies (a feature which I enjoy thoroughly, being interested in movie-making myself).

I wonder how much work goes into annotating a book, if the author did the annotating? There are a few books that I would love to see that type of running commentary on.

I'm sure you've seen an annotated book before, but just in case you haven't, they print the actual book with wide margins, and then, in another font style/size, they print running commentary along side the text that talks about the immediate context, and what went into crafting it. It's fascinating, if you're into that thing. But it can be really distractinbg if you are trying to read the book itself for the first time. Much like, I'm sure, trying to watch a movie for the first time while listening to the commentary too.

As far as prose/dialog, I've found that dialog flows freely for me as well, and I have to go back and add description later as well. I wonder if that's just the way it has to be done, or if there are those that write the description better and first?

Dave Wagner
Faithwriter DaveWags

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