But as I read it, I wondered several times if this was appropriate. I mean, who really speaks this perfectly? (Beside Crystal, I mean, and me, according to my husband.) And if you don't speak this well, do you want to read immaculate grammar?
|Statue at the Uffizi in Florence.|
I love reading well-written works. I enjoy and author who knows his proper English and uses it well. But does it always fit the genre in which you are writing?
That's one part of this post. The other is what I discovered about the author and the series I was reading last week. The author is Michael Malone** and, on Wednesday, I finished First Lady. Let me first say that this was the most wonderfully plotted mystery I have read in a long time. The twists were truly surprising, often, and appropriate. The characters were compelling, real, and likable--even when they weren't liked. Then I began reading another Malone book in the same series (called 'Justin & Cuddy' after the main characters)...Time's Witness is not written in the most perfectly formed English at all! And it's not because the author couldn't write when he wrote this one. It's because this one is told from the viewpoint of Cuddy--the educated but country chief of police in the little North Carolina town of Hillston; whereas the first one I read, First Lady, was in the point of view of Justin Savile V--educated son of North Carolina royalty, gentry with poilitical ties.
So...two parts to this one.
One: Does correct grammar fit every genre? Should you ever sacrifice syntax for characterization?
Two: Does it work if the reader doesn't know? Is a technique successful if it takes a while for the reader to get it?
*Thank you all for indulging in my self-indulgence last week. I've truly enjoyed writing the blog and the interaction it brings. So a little first birthday celebration was in order. I loved reading all of your HBBlogfest entries, and I hope to participate in more blogfests in the future. It always gets me writing!
**Malone's 'Justin & Cuddy' series is set in North Carolina and is fantastic! I highly recommend it to all mystery readers. Malone is a very talented writer.