Tuesday, April 16, 2013

AtoZ Blogging Challenge. Nuance Much Lately?


The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out

Nuance


I love writers who leave something for me to figure out in their stories. One effective way they do this is to go for the subtle shadings in action or in description rather than using the blatant approach. Here's an example of what I mean. 

". . .but it's wrong what they say about the past, I've learned, about how you can bury it . Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years."

In The Kite Runner, we know from this early sentence in the book, that something life-altering happened a long time ago. I've italicized the words that give us that information. Hosseini carefully chose them for the effect he wanted to create (dark, tinged with guilt, long-lasting). Whatever happened deeply affected the main character. But instead of telling us what it was and how it affected him, the writer nuances the event and leaves us wondering. Now we must turn the page to find out what this story is about. We're hooked by this subtle glimpse of this character's past.

Are you intrigued by what's not explicit, by the nuancing of information in books?

This very subtle and nuanced post brought to you by:
The Madlab Post (Nicole Ayers)
Tossing It Out (Arlee Bird)
Amlokiblogs (Damyanti Biswas)
Alex J. Cavanaugh (Alex J. Cavanaugh)
Life is Good (Tina Downey)
Cruising Altitude 2.0 (DL Hammons)
Retro-Zombie (Jeremy Hawkins)
The Warrior Muse (Shannon Lawrence)
The QQQE (Matthew MacNish)
Leave it to Livia (Livia Peterson)
No Thought 2 Small (Konstanz Silverbow)
Breakthrough Blogs (Stephen Tremp)
Spunk on a Stick (L. Diane Wolfe)


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33 comments:

  1. You know, I've never read that book...

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    1. It's a stick to your ribs kind of book. I'd recommend it.

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  2. Looks like another one for my TBR list...thanks :)

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    1. It's worthwhile to read. I haven't seen the movie yet.

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  3. I LOVE nuance. Books, movies, TV (though it usually is not very subtle) it grabs me around the throat and keeps me reading. Those books are the very best!
    I had a hard time with Kite Runner, I was in a fragile state (I guess) when I tried it and got upset that children were being so horrible, so I put it down for later. I just found it in my shelves, might have to go for it again soon. :) Great word choice today!!

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    1. You're right. It's not an easy book to take down, but I think it rang true.

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  4. I think it's a great way to intrigue readers without bopping them over the head. Sometimes you need that heavy handed approach, but I find that the subtle approach is often more rewarding in the end.

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    1. And it's not easy. The question is always how much is too much and how little is too little. A delicate balance.

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  5. I haven't read the book, but I did see the movie which was beautiful...

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    1. I've ordered it on Netflix, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

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  6. Nuance is one of my favourite words.... it's suggestive as opposed to "in your face".... it hints at shades... multi-layers... grey areas...
    The Kite Runner sounds like my kind of story!
    I suggest you read The Book Thief by Mark Zusak (if you haven't done so already...)

    Writer In Transit

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    1. I have it and I plan to read it this summer. I keep putting others ahead of that one and I know I shouldn't. Thanks for the push.

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  7. Great word and I do so love multi-layered, subtle stories.

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  8. it's a lovely book, it's been a bestseller in my country too!

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  9. This author has captivated me (I read this one and A Thousand Splendid Suns). He is coming to a book store about an hour away from my house this May. I am hoping to get there to hear him talk and to get his most recent book. Great example of nuance.
    ~Jess

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  10. Nuance is such a great word!!! And yes, I'm with you-- really attracted to the books that leave me thinking. Although I actually wasn't able to get into The Kite Runner, maybe I will one of these days.

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  11. I've been meaning to read that book. I heard it's awesome!

    Hemingway was very, very good at nuance (in my opinion).

    Happy Tuesday!

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  12. I usually don't catch the subtle stuff unless I read it a second time.

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  13. I love nuance and like to use it myself. I need to read this book at some point.

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  14. I miss little nuances sometimes. I love to write them, but I sometimes have to read twice to catch them in other author's works.

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  15. I love to use nuance but then I'm told "huh?" by some. LOL. My skill at it is still developing, I guess.

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  16. I'm such a curious dragon. I do prefer secrets revealed than left to my imagination.

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  17. I really liked The Kite Runner. It's one of my favorite movie adaptations of a book.

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  18. Definitely, although I'm sure there is a lot that goes over my head. But then I might pick up on something someone else misses. It's fun to try and guess rather than have everything spelled out in black and white.

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  19. Nothing like a little subtle nuance. If a writer leaves you to try and form a conclusion, you've become part of the story.

    Although I never talk about me, yes me, shy and humble me, I do often have underlying meanings in my stuff that folks seems to come up with numerous conclusions. And with that I conclude my comment :)

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  20. Oh, definitely,

    I LOVE subtlety and nuance. I write this way, description and atmosphere is so important to draw the reader in... I never liked be bashed over the head with insane action.... especially in the beginning of a novel. A writer needs to build to that climax.

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  21. An element I strive for in every chapter to keep the reader on the hook - great topic and helpful example, thanks!

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  22. I am intrigued! I'll have to read it. :)

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  23. Okay, I'm super tired right now and when I'm super tired I don't read words right. I read nuance as nuisance and after reading that beautiful excerpt I wondered what on earth you were on about... NUANCE!!! You meant nuance!! sigh... and lol. Yes, subtlty is wonderful. I don't like it when everything is explained to me straight out (except when I'm super tired, lol).

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  24. I haven't read this yet.

    I love subtlety. My mind goes over those nuances while I'm reading.

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  25. One mark of a great writer ..and great reader to catch on. :)

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  26. Such a great book. I couldnt put it down and cried and cried.

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  27. Hi Lee - I'm sure I've got it here too .. oh well I'm going to be learning to read again soon .. cheers Hilary

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