On Poetry and Culture Shock

Grice's Maxims, 4 and last: of brevity.

I have let too much time pass between each of my posts about the Maxims. Here you have the other three.

Grice Maxim number Four: Be brief; be informative. This does not mean “use few words”, it means “make all words mean something”. There are two extremes to break the rule: one is not providing information:

-“What did you do today?” “oh, nothing, the usual”.

And the extreme of giving lots of words and no information: tags, fillers. “Coletillas”. This is an easy way of making your characters sound different from each other and it was a favourite technique of Charles Dickens. Repetitions fall here too. Consider the difference between: “I can’t” and “I can’t, seriously, I just can’t”. Remember that we are talking about fiction: the one that talks like that is a character, not the narrator. Characters can do all sorts of things that the narrator isn’t supposed to do, like using the most trite phrases. Have a narrator saying: “As a matter of fact,” and you’ll kill the flow. Have a character say “As a matter of fact,” and you’ll be building up their personality.

1 comentario

heyheymymy -

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No, ahora en serio, me encanta tu blog, es muy original.Te linkare del mio, espero q no te importe.

Keep on writing!