Monday, 2 December 2013

A Good Balance

I have read Rohinton Mistry's book called "A fine Balance", but what is a good balance in a novel?

Remember Nancy Pearl? Click on Nancy's name to see my past blog about her. Nancy Pearl
She refers to 'experiential elements' and she believes that each person enjoys a different balance of these four important elements.

   Well, I have a strong feeling about 'setting'.  It should be background and not overpower the story.
   Lately, we discussed "Anna From Away" by D.R. MacDonald, and I complained loudly that the setting overpowered the story.  I like a 'good balance' and whenever the characters entered the story, and the plot began to rev up, the author put in several pages of description, while the plot and characters waited in the wings.  I felt like the setting was a spoiled child who took over all the attention.  I was irritated.  What about the characters?  What is happening?  When will something happen?
   If he had wanted to paint a detailed picture, he should have used paints and a canvas, not words.
   But the great thing about book clubs is the variety of personal interests.  One person spoke for the beauty of his description of Cape Breton Island.
   A novel is about story for me, and really interesting characters are important.   I can manage without great language.  In fact, Maeve Binchy is enjoyable for many people for the reason that her language is simple and plain- no metaphors, similes, alliterations, oxymorons, hyperbole, irony, euphemisms, or even onomatopoeias!
   In "A Week in Winter", Maeve Binchy did a great job of setting! You could always hear the waves washing up on shore and the wind blowing across the cliffs.  Inside there was a fire glowing, a cup of tea, and a cat by the fire. I could see it, hear it, and feel it.  That's doing what setting should do.
   I want balance in a novel.

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