So this is my first blog entry. I’ve never blogged before, about anything so its all very exciting.
I’m Salmaan Dewar from Canberra, Australia. I’m a father, a husband and an I.T geek, but most of all a writer.
I say writer and omit the “aspiring” or “wannabe” part because, as I was informed recently by @got_angst (David J Pedersen), “you either write, or you don’t. There
is no ‘Wannabe.'” Its amazing how much this little bit of advice affected me for the better and helped launch me into writing. Please check out David J Pedersen on twitter and his novel “Angst” which is getting great reviews!
So what do I write? I’m so far working on a fantasy novel which is still taking shape. I’m unsure of the direction it will ultimately take although I do have a general idea of the plot. Its just a question of “Am I feeling Lovecraftian? Shall I add tentacles?” or other pertinent questions which I’m sure will have me tossing and turning at night.
Introductions aside, I’d like to talk about somethign that I discovered recently, first by accident and then in a more formal fashion, and that is: Free Indirect Discourse.
So what is Free Indirect Discourse?
Free Indirect Discourse is a narrative technique which combines aspects of third person and first persons points of view.
I first discovered its existance when listening to the extended version of the audio book of Stephen King’s “The Stand”.
Here I was listening away (I am a chronic insomniac so I put the headphones in and listen until I drop off!) and something about a chapter featuring one of the book’s protagonists, a chap by the name of Larry Underwood, blew me away although at first I didnt realise what it was.
In this chapter the story’s narrator was narrating the trials of Larry in third person, yet.. somehow slipping into a casual speech as though it was Larry himself doing the narrating; as though in this chapter the narrator had reverted to using Larry’s own mannerisms and vocabulary in describing the events.
Now I cant for the life of me find the exact passages that I’m thinking of from “The Stand” as I dont own the text, but consider the following basic (and slightly goofy) examples:
- Indirect discourse: He pulled his gun from its holster. Today would be a great day to die, he thought.
- Direct discourse: He pulled his gun from its holster and said, “Today is a great day to die.”
- Free indirect discourse: He pulled his gun from its holster. What a day it was for death.
Now if you’re paying attention (and invariable you are!), you should be able to see the differences between these examples. See Jeff Chapman’s blog for a few more examples and examples of some authors known for using FID. (http://jeffchapmanwriter.blogspot.com.au/2010/06/free-indirect-discourse.html)
What I find really exciting about the Free Indirect Discourse (FID) is that it forms a synthesis between the kind of language and mannerisms that the character themselves would use and that of the narrator.It allows you to provide some of the urgency and intimacy of first person point of view or perspective, all the while retaining it within third person perspective.
This is a great way of bringing the reading audience a little closer to the characters than they would normally be through traditional direct and indirect discourse, without actually putting them inside the head of the protagonist, such as in first person perspective.
If you want to discover more about this (and MUCH more) I highly recommend the lecture series “The Art of Reading” by Professor Timothy Sprugin, published by The Teaaching Company. (see: http://www.amazon.com/Teaching-Company-Reading-Course-Courses/dp/1598035673).
You can follow me (if you dare!) on twitter: @herodfel