Happy 4th of July to all of us in the United States and I hope the rest of you around the world will join us in our celebration.
On Wednesday I'll be giving my thoughts about a book I recently finished reading. It will be a somewhat negative review partly because I disliked the style of the writing, but also because of the rambling approach of telling the story (stories?).
As I was thinking back on this book I began thinking about how writing is sometime similar to a fireworks display. I also wanted to do a post today related to the Fourth of July. Okay, so it's a gimmicky way to go, but this is my fireworks display for today.
There are many types of fireworks ranging from simple sparklers and firecrackers to elaborate roman candles and multicolored skyrockets. Fireworks may emphasize effects such as noise, smoke, fire, or floating materials, or may be a combination of any or all of these. The display of the fireworks may be very basic for a solitary user or a small group of users, or they may be very elaborate on a massive scale for the larger audience. Whatever the case, fireworks are intended to capture attention.
Writers use literary effects to capture the attention of readers. The fireworks of writing may come in the form of unique story approach such as twists or surprise endings. Other attention getting devices may include vivid descriptions, clever metaphors, quirky style, or unorthodox punctuation. Strong characters and realistic dialogue may be the forte of some writers while others may engage in rambling stream of consciousness or peculiar digressions into philosophical realms.
Whatever the writer's approach may be, it will often become the trademark of that writer. Some may pass off a writer's trick bag as gimmickry, while others will include it as style. However, the writer should always make an attempt to be authentic and coherent. All noise and dazzle might catch a readers attention initially, but will eventually wear thin if there is no substance.
What kind of fireworks do you like to use in your own writing? What fireworks--gimmicks, styles, or inclinations--annoy you most in the writing of others? Will you be watching (or did you watch) a professional fireworks display on July 4th or do you like to buy your own fireworks and put on your own display at home?