Techniques of the novel…

Techniques of the novel…

First published HERE

There was a time I was afraid that novels would die. It was a genuine fear. There were just so many competing distractions. When I was growing up in the 80s, the major source of distraction was television. Till this day, I still love watching television. This seems to be my only distraction, though. But, I worried when it slowly dawned on me that I too may become a writer. I worried that by the time my first book was published, there will be no more readers left, no one interested in buying novels and reading for the sheer beauty of it! I think I was in my late teens when this fear took hold of me.




The novel has survived despite the advent of video games, personal computers and the Internet, blockbuster movies and everything else! How has this been possible?

One way I have found to explain this, is that a good novel on its own, has the ability to transport the reader into a new world, reveal new insights into the human condition and make the reader dig deeper within himself. Movies, I discovered, only scratch the surface of this and that is why film adaptations of novels always fail to capture the je ne sais quoi of the actual books.
There are several major
techniques that novelists employ to make their novels rich in meaning and worthwhile to the reader. A couple of these techniques include point of viewstyle, and symbolism. Novelists also use a number of minor devices such as imagery andirony.

The most important decision an author must make when writing a novel is what point of view to use. The point of view determines the limitations and freedoms that the author has in presenting the plot and theme to the reader. Readers will experience a book differently depending on whether they know everything that is occurring in the story and all the characters’ thoughts, or whether they have a more limited perspective, such as knowing only what one particular character knows.
A writer friend of mine and I have had numerous discussions on POV. It’s interesting how many people confuse POV with the narrative perspective of a story. I will discuss this more when I take the different forms of Point-Of-View. I believe it will make for a healthy debate.

A novelist’s style is the approach the writer takes in putting together words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs. Style can determine the pace at which the story is told and how directly the author relates the story to the reader.

Many novelists deepen the meaning of their stories by employing symbolism, the use of objects or ideas as symbols that represent other, more abstract concepts. With symbols, authors can write scenes that deepen the reader’s understanding of the theme of the novel. This occurs because the symbols have an unspoken meaning beyond their immediate presence in the story. Symbolism thus allows the author to address controversial matters, such as political or religious issues, without openly discussing these subjects.

Novelists also use many other literary devices, including imagery and irony. By using these devices, writers avoid the need to state every piece of information they wish to convey. Instead, the literary devices give readers the opportunity to discover themselves the layers of meaning in a novel.



No thoughts yet on “Techniques of the novel…” by Admin (@ogaoga)

Leave a Reply