Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Can we still write like this?

"One summer morning of bland air, the huge, corroding, bell-like heart of Gormenghast was half asleep and there appeared to be no reverberation from its muffled thudding.  In a hall of plaster walls the silence yawned." 

Seven adjectives in one sentence modifiying five nouns.  I'm sure MFA creative writing teachers hate that first sentence.  Or is the style simply frowned in today's contemporary fiction?   

I know how I would argue.  "The silence yawned" is set up by what precedes it.   

I win.  Awesome.

3 comments:

d65c9848-d08c-11e2-8bc4-000bcdcb5194 said...

There's no hard and fast rules for what constitutes good writing. As long as your book sells I doubt any publisher cares much about your diction. Grammatical rules are nothing more than a way to enforce consistency and to prevent everyone from redefining and refitting the language all that once. But of course this tactic is not particularly successful as anyone who's read a book that was written two hundred years ago can attest.

d65c9848-d08c-11e2-8bc4-000bcdcb5194 said...

There's no hard and fast rules for what constitutes good writing. As long as your book sells I doubt any publisher cares much about your diction. Grammatical rules are nothing more than a way to enforce consistency and to prevent everyone from redefining and refitting the language however they see fit. But of course this tactic is not particularly successful as anyone who's read a book that was written two hundred years ago can attest.

Personally I find that particular passage to be quite tame. Now writers like Charles Dickens however - with their page after page of run on sentences - I take GREAT exception to.

Chad Hull said...

I'm not strong enough to read Dicken's, but happy, and even a bit envious, of those who are.

'Grammatical rules are nothing more than a way to enforce consistency and to prevent everyone from redefining and refitting the language all that once.'

That, is a truism if ever there were one. Thanks for your comments.