Wednesday, February 3, 2010

In Which I Show Off

The few of you who read this blog have probably also read most (if not all) of the fiction I've published here. You know that I normally write in short, declarative sentences with the occasional flair. In yesterday's Friday Flash Fiction story, I tried a little something different. On a couple occasions, I used a device known as polysyndeton; simply put - using several conjunctions in close succession, especially where some might be omitted.

How did I come to learn of this? Through Ernest Hemingway. Last week, I read his short story "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" (do yourself a favor and read it) and stumbled upon his usage of it. It's evident even in the first paragraph:

It was very late and everyone had left the cafe except an old man who sat in the shadow the leaves of the tree made against the electric light. In the day time the street was dusty, but at night the dew settled the dust and the old man liked to sit late because he was deaf and now at night it was quiet and he felt the difference. The two waiters inside the cafe knew that the old man was a little drunk, and while he was a good client they knew that if he became too drunk he would leave without paying, so they kept watch on him.


I think I may use polysyndeton in the future, but only to vary the pace a bit. I want to write good stories for FFF, but I also view these stories as a chance to try something new. It won't always work, but what's the fun in playing it safe all the time?

1 comment:

Doc said...

It's alway good to try new things as sometimes it adds a feel or flavor to the story you wouldn't find any other way. I've experimented a bit, and like you, found FFF to be the best place for it.

Cheers,
Doc