right or wrong
i just finished reading the short story "body art" from little black book of stories by a.s. byatt. it was the second in the collection, and i wasn't sure what to expect when reading it. the first story, "the thing in the forest", was somewhat creepy, and left me wondering. i am used to creepy. i am used to things being left somewhat undone. but "body art" left me wondering in a different way. it was what it was: a story, a window into the certain events of a man's life. sometimes that's all a story is. sometimes that's all a story needs to be.
i will readily admit that i do not know everything about writing. does anyone? but i also believe that there are many ways to build a story. that although i see writing as a very formulaic thing, there is no A + B = C when it comes to voice. every author is different. every voice is different. and that's what i love about writing. my stories are prevelent with dialog, the only exception being some of my flash fiction. i use dialog to reveal things through my characters, to build relationships, to give you as the reader a reason to care. i don't believe this is right or wrong, but rather it is my voice.
"the lottery" by shirley jackson, one of the most well-known horror stories of all time, has an interesting layout. the first half of the story is prose, the second half dialog. is this right or wrong? does it matter? it's a beautiful, memorable story. i suppose if i have a point it's this: everyone has a different way of telling a story, and what would be the point of reading if they didn't? i read to escape from my own voice, to distance myself from the way i write. to take a break. and also to see into someone else's head for a while. to experience someone else's voice. to remind myself that there are others out there slaving away at a story because they cannot help themselves...