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Structure

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leprrkan



Joined: 29 Jul 2007
Posts: 5089
Location: In the home stretch...
Structure  Reply with quote  

How important is the structure of a book when it is first written? I don't mean in terms of sentence structure, a bad or poorly constructed sentence most likely will never work, but in terms of things like how someone denotes things like dialogue, thoughts (like Seph asked), paragraph breaks, etc. I have read several books where stylistically things aren't done "by the book" and they still work... James Frey and James Joyce would be two examples in prose, or e e cummings in poetry.

Is there a point at which an author's style becomes a possible hinderance or a turn-off to a publisher? Where is that point?
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Post Sun Jul 27, 2008 11:06 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Sephonae



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 5218
Location: New York
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My guess would be at the point it becomes a pain in the ass for the publisher to read. Wink
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Post Sun Jul 27, 2008 11:27 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
mllefifi



Joined: 28 Jan 2006
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Location: Deleoware
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To me, with Joyce's Ulysses or e e cummings, it's a matter of style, i.e., HOW they do it. And, yes, as with music, the publisher or producer has to deal with it.

But that is NOT structure (I'm speaking purely as a music person). Structure is the FORM that results, not the style by which it is made.
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zendao42



Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 13570
Location: Somewhere in a galaxy near you
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I always said, just read Harold Robbins if you need help setting up your format...

Post Mon Jul 28, 2008 4:29 am   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
LostInWalmart



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 1900
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Between Marquez and his 50-page sentence, and Saramago who refuses to indicate dialogue, much less attribute it to any particular speaker, I've about had it with experimental structures. Good thing they're both such good writers. Mortals though can't get away with that as easily. I think you should write so someone can read the damn thing.

B

Post Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:01 am   View user's profile Send private message
J.B.Chamberlin



Joined: 20 Jul 2008
Posts: 52
Re: Structure  Reply with quote  

leprrkan wrote:
How important is the structure of a book when it is first written? I don't mean in terms of sentence structure, a bad or poorly constructed sentence most likely will never work, but in terms of things like how someone denotes things like dialogue, thoughts (like Seph asked), paragraph breaks, etc. I have read several books where stylistically things aren't done "by the book" and they still work... James Frey and James Joyce would be two examples in prose, or e e cummings in poetry.

Is there a point at which an author's style becomes a possible hinderance or a turn-off to a publisher? Where is that point?


I imagine it's not important at all if it distracts from the story. Some themes need strict structure while others would, I think, thrive without structure.

--JBC

Post Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:25 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
leprrkan



Joined: 29 Jul 2007
Posts: 5089
Location: In the home stretch...
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LostInWalmart wrote:
Between Marquez and his 50-page sentence, and Saramago who refuses to indicate dialogue, much less attribute it to any particular speaker, I've about had it with experimental structures. Good thing they're both such good writers. Mortals though can't get away with that as easily. I think you should write so someone can read the damn thing.

B


I didn't mean that I'm trying to break new ground, actually it's a lot more simple than that...

I know how to construct a sentence, how to construct a paragraph, how to spell... most of the time, etc. What I sometimes worry about, and it's probably just micromanaging and not worth so much angst, is if I'm using too many paragraph breaks or not enough, or using more commas than I need, or too few in a given sentence, paragraph, etc. I don't know that it would take away from things for someone else reading it, but it can drive me batty and that's my worry.
Would someone else, i.e. a prospective publisher, be looking that closely at something like that... or is the focus initially more on how the story is told and whether or not it hangs together and is enjoyable? I can understand how something that is poorly written, grossly mis-spelled and such would most likely be rejected out of hand, but do they literally go through with a fine tooth comb at the start or is that where suggestions for change/improvement come into play?
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Post Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:09 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
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