Thursday, May 22, 2008
One Good Book
I just finished reading John Lennon and the Mercy St. Café by the blogosphere’s own William Hammett, who is better known here as Billy. Although I was never a huge Beatles fan, this is an incredibly fun book. If you are a Beatles fan you’ll likely enjoy it even more. John Lennon comes back from the dead and at first only a woman named Amy can see him. From the moment she does a wild surreal ride begins involving time travel, the Great Depression, Woody Guthrie, a road trip from New York City to California and back, folk and blues music, and lots of inside information about Lennon and his times. Highly recommended.
Here’s a few more thoughts about the need for characters to show consistency in mood and behavior over time. These developed from the comments section on my last post. First, it appears that characters in fiction actually need to show greater consistency than in real life. A real human can go from depression to laughter and we have to deal with it, but when a fictional character does this it “feels” unreal. It’s like with dialogue, where showing actual dialogue on the page reads awkwardly and what you have to do instead is create the illusion of reality.
Another thing is that it’s virtually impossible for an author to remain completely consistent in mood and tone across any work that is written in segments, as all novels must be. The cure for that is in the rewriting/revision process, when you can consider the work in much larger segments and polish any of the rough welds where the material was put together.