Saturday, November 26, 2011

Literary Devices/Techniques

I wanted to write this short post as a follow up to the post I wrote earlier about Roman a Clef.

I've always been fascinated by Literary Devices, or Techniques. I remember learning about them in high school...I had a stellar lit teacher in high school...and then in college. I use them all the time when I'm structuring my novels and short stories and I would assume most other authors do the same thing.

And the one thing I love the most about literary devices is that the term/concept is almost a trade secret in some ways. Writers keep this to themselves and they let readers figure it out on their own, which is as it should be. But to the trained, well-read eye, literary devices aren't invisible. I can tell immediately when a book is reviewed whether or not the reviewer knows...has been exposed to the concept...what a literary device is with regard to structure.

When it comes to the "normal" reader, they don't have to know. All they have to do is love the story and the writing. And no writer expects them to know this either. That would take away all the fun in reading if it became too technical. So if you're a reader who is reading for pleasure, you don't have to worry about this.

For those interested, the wiki explanation is here. I particularly like the way this is defined with respect to the word "intentionally." But the definition is a little ambiguous, so here's another link for more clarity.

No writer does anything by accident. It may look that way. Sometimes if it is planned correctly it SHOULD look accidental. But when a novel is being crafted each and every word, sentence, or "device" is there for a reason. And it's always planned in advance.

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