Sunday, July 8, 2012

I Don't Describe ...

I don't seem to spend a great deal of time describing my characters with exacting particulars.  It's something X and I have talked about before.

In an essay about "the visual life of a book" - talking about book trailers, not the actual text - Nina Metz pinpoints the baseline assumptions I go by in my own writing, when it comes to explaining/describing in deep detail:

To read is to engage in an act of imaginative personalization — of the narrative, the images, the setting. Which means any kind of literal video representation is going to run into problems, said Mendelsund. "It's really not fun to be told what something looks like in a work of fiction. So the question is, how much do you show?
"In a way, that's the key to jacketing books: You have to respond to what the key themes of the book are, what the author's project is, but you cannot give too much away. You have to respect the fact that people's imaginations are deeply private."


Also - the link to the article about book trailers.  How many of you knew there was such a thing?  (I have for some time, but would agree fully with the assessment that they're a bit in the margins yet as marketing devices.)

By the way - a link within this article features a YouTube with Thomas Pynchon's voice.  I know some of you will be interested in that!

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