The Basic Elements of Painting a Novel
When an author is writing a novel, he or she is using all the elements of writing to paint a picture for the reader. If the elements are not blended to give the reader a good idea of what the author is trying to show, the novel may never see the light of day.
A painter uses color and drawing techniques to create a masterpiece, whether contemporary or classic – and a novelist blends the elements of plot, characters, theme, setting and style, whether mystery, romance or thriller.
A great novel should contain words that literally jump off the page to the reader, keeping him enthralled with each element the writer is trying to convey. With these words, the writer creates his own, unique style that keeps readers coming back.
For example, some writers prefer to narrate their books from first person (I) and some from a third person point (she or he). By choosing which elements to include in his novel, the author creates what will define his style.
Other Elements that Capture a Writer’s Style
Without becoming too technical about the elements of writing a novel, there are other factors enclosed who, what, when, where and why to think about and choose from when writing a novel:
· Narrator – Choosing the narrator for a novel is an important part of the style a writer creates. If the author chooses a main character in the book to narrate from first person perspective, it’s difficult to get into the minds of the other characters. If he chooses an anonymous outside, third person, the writer can get inside their minds as much as needed to and tell their thoughts and reactions to people or accidents in the book.
· Grammar and Punctuation – There are rules about correct grammar and punctuation, but in a novel, they can be broken for setting up the style of writing. For example, books about certain areas of the country or the accent in another country may have vernacular sounds and lingo that can only be directed to the reader by breaking some grammar and punctuation rules.
· Imagery – This element of style is most like the elements used when painting a picture. The writer is creating a vivid picture of a person, place or thing within the novel and with that, the reader is able to see in his mind a clear picture. James Michener was one of the greatest writers to create “paintings” in the books he wrote. Michener could describe a stone, tree or the sky in a way that folded his readers into the novel and made it seem that they were there.
Those are just three of the elements that create the style of a novelist. Tone, paragraph structure and length, chapters and even the title of the novel also reflect an author’s style and the readers readers clamor back for more.