Stream of Consciousness

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    Hey Paul–

    Like the way you’re thinking and working. Here’s a quote from
    Stream of Consciousness is a literary style in which the author follows visual, auditory, tactile, associative, and subliminal impressions and expresses them using “interior monologue” of characters either as a writing technique or as a writing style that mingles thoughts and impressions in an illogical order, and violates grammar norms.

    As you know, the classics quoted in academia are Ulysses, Mrs. Dalloway, and the opening of The Sound and the Fury. But all this is overthinking. As with all narrative, there are no silos of information delivery, it’s more like spreading seed over a well prepared acre of farmland. And in writing, I believe you slip in and out of levels of consiousness of narrator and characters, often in very subtle ways, without preconceived restrictions, and using only what will benefit telling the story to the reader. You are right, 1st POV is a stream of consciousness usually involved with memory as well as internal thinking. The term internal monologue, in general, I don’t find useful. Most of first person thinking never seems effective to me written as a monologue (a dramatic term, really). And in third person, a monologue with one’s self on the page I think would be deadly. So I don’t use the term “internal monolgue” when I’m thinkng about writing. I usually say “internalization,” which easily encompasses stream of consciousness without thinking about it technically too.

    I reccommend you just write. You’ll use stream of consciousness without thinking about, which is almost always the best way. I would not use preconceived POV or any narrative techniques to write your novel as a strategy. Get the novel going with the POVs you think make the most sense for the character and for the novel content. Certain POVs are better for withheld information, for example, or for discovery plots. Others are better for epics, psychological novels, etc. But I wouldn’t plan narrative structure as important for novel success and acceptance, and then write the novel. I’d write the novel using what develops as best and then see if changes in POV and narration will make things better in revision. I do believe you’ll find in most novels, consistency in POV among characters may be important, that is, not using mixtures of 1st and 3rd. But anything can work in talented hands and with imaginative minds dedicated to pleasing the reader.

    Good luck!

    #1299 Reply
    Paul Ceretto

    Hey Bill, what is the deal with stream of consciousness?
    How can I use that in an effective manor?
    In a sense, first person is Interior monologue.
    In my next book, I want to use limited POV 2 main characters. With one I want to use IM.
    Can I use first person for one of the MC’s and 3rd for the other. Writing this, the concept seems absolutely wild. Maybe it can’t be done.
    What do you think? .

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