So the written and spoken word don’t always mix well. Although writers try to capture realistic dialogue, it doesn’t, um, like really work all that well, ya know? I mean, really, who wants to hear someone trip over their tongue for an entire novel? When I speak, my number one word of choice (well, more happenstance than choice) is um. Thanks to truly realistic dialogue, novels would at least triple in size, turning Animal Farm-sized novellas into Harry Potter-like tomes.
And if I spoke as winsomely and eloquently as a character in a novel? While this isn’t something that I’ve contemplated a lot, I’m guessing that listeners would quickly shut off, having their attention diverted by anything with with movement or flashing lights. When we’re listening, apparently us humans need breaks to help process spoken words. That’s my unscientific guess anyway.
But, what about speeches? People expect more from them. No ums, likes or ya knows. They want something deeper, but you can’t wax too eloquently, you need to keep people’s attention and give ‘em a take away phrase or two. This hybrid of oral and written language…can it actually translate to paper for a sustained story? Should it? Here is a BBC article about the techniques of speech writing. I’ve heard of most of these techniques before for speech writing, obviously, and for advertising. But would (do) these techniques work in prose? In novels? Is this something that is in every novel and I’m just missing it?