[LMB] OT: authorial language (was trialing new authors)

Paula Lieberman paal at gis.net
Thu, 6 Nov 2003 01:41:41 -0500

-- Paula Lieberman
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mark Eddy" <markdeddy at grandecom.net>

> James Burbidge wrote:
> >On Wed, 2003-11-05 at 12:45, Paula Lieberman wrote:
> >
> >
> >>The way a writer uses language tends to be very consistent, though--what

Note I did say -tends- above.

> >>sort of sentences they use, if they do abominable things like change
> >>viewpoint in the middle of a paragraph, if they use passive voice
> >>substantialy, if they write complex sentences like this one or if they
> >>short choppy sentences or worst of all oodles of sentence fragments, if
> >>use objective voice, or subjective, if the work's in first person, third
> >>person objective, third person omniscient.... ok, to tell if there's
> >
> >Counterexample: _Ulysses_.
> >
> >Are there any good SFnal counterexamples?
> >

Can't be counterexamples, I said tends, not "is always."

> Zelazny's Amber books, the first ones.pto
> Partial Sentences
> divided
> up like
> this.

The Amber books were told in first/second person, Corwin was speaking to his
son.   I say first/second, because the narrator, Corwin, actually DID say
"You" a number to times, and it was clear there was someone he was telling
his story -to-.  The trailing off was part of his narration.  The voice
stayed in first person narrative narrating to a second person, the entire
set of five books.  Zelazny used first person in some of his other works,
Isle of the Dead, for example, and at least one of his Hugo-winning short
fiction works, the one set on Venus, and I think A Rose for Ecclesiasties,
also.   I think he also used it for This Immortal, which won a Best Novel
Hugo IIRC.

> In the midst of otherwise normal narrative. Of course, I don't know how
> good of a writer Zelazny is. Or how good he's thought to be, in general.

Zelazny got a quite a few Hugos and Nebula nominations during his writing
career and a respectable number of awards of them.

> Mark (Heinlein got  choppy near the end -- but it was an overal
> deterioration) Eddy

There are some books with multiple viewpoints in which the lead voice is
first person and the other voices are third person, e.g., Patricia Briggs'
novels Dragon Bones and Dragon Blood the protagonist is the narrator, but
there are sections of at least the secon book in which the viewpoint is a
third party character, and then the narrative voice is in third person, not
first -- it;s only in first person when it's from the point of view of the
lead character.   Andre Norton in I think Gryphon in Glory, had alternating
chapters from the two lead characters, in first person voice from both of
them.  Sharon Green's recent series from Eos, one character is a first
person narrator, and the other characters, when they are the viewpoint
character, are in third person.