In his On writing, Stephen King speaks of cadence: “the cadence is the speed in which your narration unfolds”, this speed involves various aspects of the text and influences the reader’s attitude towards history, continues King: “in the In the publishing sector there is a secret (and therefore never defended and examined) belief that most of the commercially successful novels and stories are ‘sent’. I believe it derives from the assumption that today people have too many things to do and their attention is so easily taken away from a work printed by others, more immediate distractions that are quickly lost to their readers. If proceed too fast you will run the risk of leaving the reader behind, either because you confuse him or because you tire him out. As for me, I prefer a slower cadence and a wider, more emphatic construction believe that every story should be allowed to develop according to its own cadence and that it should not necessarily always be a race. Nevertheless it is good to be careful: if it slows down too much, even the most patient reader will start to get excited ”.
The graphic layout of the page of a novel also defines its cadence. There are in fact pages that appear as walls of words, interrupted every so often by some other; then there are traits where the sequences of sentences form slimmer lines.
According to this consideration we can distinguish two types of text layout: a continuous one (the walls of words) and a broken or non-continuous one that can be attributed to different voices: the first to the narrator, the second to the characters and then to the dialogues. When a text is entrusted to the only voice of dialogue characters we realize that the “cadence” is more sustained, that the pages flow between our hands at a great speed.
Dialogue can bring three types of information:
an informative function, giving directions through the voice of the characters regarding the context in which the story is set. The context and the setting do not pass only through the content of the dialogues, that is, to explicit and implicit references, but also through the form, the language used, the words that you choose to make your characters say, mirror of an era, of a culture, a social or work environment; In this dialogue Anna Karenina confronts her husband to discuss their future relationships following the discovery of betrayal, in this dialogue the social context in which the two characters move, their position not only in mutual relations between spouses but also in particular, is highlighted also with respect to the society in which they live.
Seeing that he did not have the strength to start talking, she began herself. – Aleksei Aleksandrovic – he said looking at him and without lowering his eyes under his gaze fixed on her hair – I am a guilty woman, I am a bad woman, but I am the same one who then spoke to you, and I came to tell you that I cannot change in nothing. “I didn’t tell you this,” he said firmly and looking at her straight in the eyes of hatred, “and I really expected that.” – In the rush of anger, he had once again become master of all his faculties. – But as I told you then and as I wrote to you – he began to say with a sharp, shrill voice – now I repeat to you that I am not obliged to know this. I ignore it. Not all wives are like you generous enough to rush to communicate such pleasant news to their husbands. – He lingered especially on the word “pleasant”. – I ignore all this until the world ignores it, until my name is shameless. And therefore I only say to you that our relationships must be as they have always been and that only in the event that you compromise yourself, I will be forced to take measures to defend my honor. “But our relationship cannot be the same as before,” said Anna timidly, looking at him with fear. “– from “Anna Karenina”
a connotative function: that brings out the characterization of a character: the social environment, the generational group, training, profession etc;
Read the following example:
“Rosemary stopped beside Tommy Barban, who was in a particularly grumpy mood and seemed to be bothered by something. He had to leave the next morning. “Go home?” “Home? I have no home. I go to war “. “What war?” “What war? Any. I haven’t read the newspapers much lately, but I think there’s a war, there’s always a war. ” “Don’t you care what you fight for?” “Not at all, as long as they treat me well. When I don’t know what to do I come to see the Diver, because I know that after a few weeks I want to go to war “. Rosemary stiffened. “She loves Diver,” she reminded him. “Of course, especially to you, but they make me want to go to war.” Rosemary thought about it but didn’t understand. The Diver made her want to stay with them forever. “You’re half American,” he said, as if it solved the problem. “Even half French, and I was educated in England and since I was eighteen I dressed in the uniform of eight nations. But I hope I don’t give you the impression that you don’t love the Diver, I want it, especially Nicole ». “How could you not want it?” He said “– from “Tenera è la notte (eNewton Classici)”
a narrative function: something must happen in a dialogue, it is a necessary phase to make the story go on. See the following example in which the protagonist loosens up the bond with her husband whose abandon had thrown her into total discomfort.
One evening he appeared at home without warning, he seemed depressed, he wanted to talk. “I have something bad to tell you,” he said. “Dilla”. “I don’t like Gianni, Ilaria gets on my nerves.” “It happened to me too.” “I feel good only when I’m without them.” “Yes, sometimes it is.” “The relationship with Carla will be ruined if we continue to see them so often”. “Could be”. “You are fine?”. “I do”. “Is it true that you no longer love me?” “Yup”. “Why? Why did I lie to you? Why did I leave you? Why did I offend you? ” “No. Just when I felt deceived, abandoned, humiliated, I loved you very much, I wanted you more than at any other time in our lives together “. “So?”. “I don’t love you anymore because, to justify you, you said you had fallen on deaf ears, in an emptiness of meaning, and it wasn’t true.” “He was.” “No. Now I know what a meaningless void is and what happens if you can get back to the surface. You don’t, you don’t know. You looked down at most, you got scared and you broke the flaw with Carla’s body “.– from “The days of abandonment (Pocket and / or)”