Good evenin’ folks,
A few months ago I wrote a little ditty on the uses of repetition in fiction writing. If you haven’t read it, I said, if you haven’t read it, here it is: Letters on Literary-Devices 2: Repeaters, Restaters, Reworders
Anyway, the reason I’m writing tonight is to show another neat trick, another neat way that authors can use repetition in fiction. On top of that, it’s a way for all you novelists out there to SHOW something instead of TELLING it (I hear that’s all the rage these days).
So, what’s the trick? What’s it used for? Well, the repetition of images can often be used to show confusion in a character. So, instead of the narrator of your story saying something boring like “He was confused.” You can use this trick to SHOW that “He’s confused.”
To SHOW you what I mean, here’s an excerpt from Just After the Fall Check it out!
from Just After the Fall
Maria woke up face down, covered in ash. She coughed until she threw up. Even then, her lungs felt coated in the powdery white matter that had been the concrete exterior of buildings. She tried to pull herself up. She fell back down and her black hair landed in her vomit. She tried again to sit up. She pulled her hair back not noticing that it was covered in vomit, noticing only that her hand felt damp and warm after doing so.
She blinked and blinked.
Nothing was quite visible. In the distance there were flashes of light. There was no sound. There was a slight ringing but no sound at all. Another flash of light in the distance and no sound, another flash of light and no sound, was what Maria saw as she continued to sit with vomit on her hair and vomit on her hand.
The ringing in Maria’s ears began to grow louder. It grew louder and louder and she brought her hands up to her ears. She covered her ears and on one side of her head she could feel the dampness from the vomit that was on that hand. Louder and louder the ringing grew, and Maria pressed her head in between her hands. She must have felt as if it would burst and then another second passed and the pain, the pressure began to dull.
Well, that’s it. That’s the excerpt. Hope you liked it and please let me know what you think by commenting below!
Oh, and one other thing. All four novels in the series are still on sale for a dollar a piece. Check out these links if you’re interested: