When we write, we cannot hear the words, until they are vocalized. And this is when we are able to catch nuance, extraneous information that may not fit our written purpose. It develops over time, to know the material well enough to the point where an outline is only a guide, and not a script. He is getting closer and closer to learning this well. Aren’t we told as writers of the long form to read aloud our work anyway? The principle is the same and reveals much of may be left out or vice versa.
Personally, I believe that omitting quotation marks in dialogue makes the prose spare and lean. In stream-of-consciousness narrative, it moves the story forward at a smoother pace. I had read enough works of fiction like McCarthy’s that I was convinced this style was the right choice for my own writing. I gave myself permission to break from the convention.
I have a reluctant writer at home. My son, a fifth grader whom I homeschool, is very curious and very inquisitive in an understated way. When we take trips to the library, he immediately visits the animal books: dinosaurs, sharks, reptiles, all creatures that interest him most.
I remember as a young writer in grammar school having to come up with my own ideas and topics to write about. In the 1980’s, this may have been a typical scenario, but as a homeschool mom, I am learning with my children that the ways of old, in this case, were not wise.
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