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Author Topic: Stream of Consciousness
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Among the many methods topics, Stream of Consciousness looms large as a complex method set. The method set entails consensuses and customs developed through the modern literature centuries, somewhat codified in the Realism and Modernism eras, warped and revisited by the Postmodern era. The central ideology of the method is free-association thought and speech -- the messy, spontaneous businesses of the mind's inner workings.

Free association entails discretionary grammar practices, of a conventional and, therefore, accessible mannerism. The method is descriptive foremost, secondmost prescriptive, and leastmost proscriptive, as is apropos of free association thought processes.

Notorious writers recognized for the method's developments include Jane Austen, Laurence Sterne, Gustave Flaubert, Herman Melville, Henry James, William Faulkner, the Fitzgeralds, James Joyce, and Ernest Hemingway, among a few standouts. Not much new technique has emerged since Postmodernism's distortions superseded Modernism. Possibly Joan Didion and Anne Sexton and similar Postmodern writers who used customary methods for unique forms.

Customary to dynamic stream of consciousness is expression of an interjectory nature: brief sentence fragments, long and loose complex-compound sentences, abrupt simple sentences, elided though implied sentence subjects and predicates, omitted article and particle words, omitted or numerous warranted conjunctions, a- and poly- syndeton, respectively, unconventional noun-verb number agreement, interjection word parts of speech themselves (oh no, yes, maybe, okay), expletive pronouns, impersonal pronouns substituted for personal pronouns -- that, which, it, one, etc., for she, he, they, etc. -- emotionally charged adjectives and adverbs and similar noun and verbal phrases, idioms, metalepses, metaphors, similes, irony, unconventional syntax and diction generally, and unconventional punctuation.

Aesthetics of otherwise mechanical stream-of-consciousness considerations are the markers of free association that signal thought's messiness. Thought and speech could be expressed directly, direct thought and speech, verbatim, or indirect discourse, summary and explanation of a paraphrase manner, and both together. Direct and indirect discourse could be attributed or unattributed -- tagged or untagged (free discourse). A principal marker of free association is evident emotional attitude commentary, thus of an interjectory nature. Tags are narrator discourse of a paraphrase manner; free discourse is a thought and speech verbatim manner -- in the now persona, event, moment, place, and situation.

Tags' best advised practice in either case are brief so they are near invisible though mark as necessary who thought or spoke what when and where context. Other what, why, and how texture is best advised placed as speech and thought wrappers or after punctuation separation.

Interjections express emotions, often unbidden surprise responses to stimuli, as well as often intentional, volitional emotional responses. The former are marked by greater amounts of unconventional grammar; the latter, a degree more deliberative. The former also express startlement and efforts to conceal inner machinations, so that real motives and agendas are protected, and so that undue vulnerability is kept in confidential abeyance.

Use of interjections to mark stream of consciousness often signal first responses, for example, vulgar and perhaps obscene words. Mother or other lover, asp wiper, the words that cannot be written according to proscriptive PG-13 guidelines: $*#*, ***hole, G-D, N and C and B words; demeaning euphemisms that are of a synecdoche, metonymy, or metalepsis characteristic: Potty mouth, wife beater, slack-jawed urbanite, psychopath hawk, backside picker, bleeding heart, tree hugger, swells, land raper, carpet bagger, intelligence agent, field hand, and so on ad infintum and ad nauseam, demeaning generally for this type of interjection.

If first an interjection responds to a stimuli, internal or external, that signals what follows in close sequence is stream-of-consciousness thought or speech.

Prior setup is warranted though, in particular, who, when, and where speaks or thinks this. Likewise, an antagonal, causal, and tensional stimuli accompanies or precedes the who, when, where context. Emotional commentary may congruently accompany a stimulus description as wells as who, when, where context. Sequencing is essential for narrative overall and stream of consciousness specifically, especially preparation, suspension, and resolution segment sequencing.

A sequence template, one of many, starts with an exposition that prepares for what a narrative is actually about related to a moral human condition. Emblemism, symbolism, imagery, implicature, foreshadowing, artful misdirection, these are tools for setup of what a narrative is actually about. The exposition is a preparation segment and can be narrator paraphrase or viewpoint agonist verbatim received reflection. The former is prone to a philosophical bent in terms of a moral human condition; the latter, to a reality imitation mannerism, as persons, settings, and events unfold.

Use of a person, setting, or event motif feature for emblemism, etc., aligns with the tangible and intangible actions and implies what a narrative is actually about. Symbolisms of youth and maturation, for example, could use the objects of childhood in transition to adulthood, or settings. The noble though worn school-like setting free of parental and absent guardian supervision, for example, symbolically or emblematically represents youth progression from childhood into adulthood. By itself, though that type of marker is insufficient to the task; one or more other markers are needed for clarity, as well an attitude toward a subject for emotional strength and clarity.

Likewise, youths' play imitation of adulthood emblems and symbols. Say a hall monitor group meets on a neighborhood park's green. They meet to discuss the role they play, the troublemakers and pet nemeses -- classmates who are too goody-two-shoes and deserve taking down a notch. The hall monitors discuss strategies to goad, prod, prank, and bully disfavored classmates, ways that won't get the hall monitors into trouble though will cause trouble for the classmates.

What setting objects are natural and necessary to the situation that symbolize what the narrative is actually about could be trees and plants, grass and weeds, park furniture, even clothing and apparel, other park visitors, and, of course, weather conditions. The state of the park signals it is neglected, for example, and that time as well has taken a toll. Broken and lightning-cracked tree limbs and trunks -- descriptive, emotionally charged modifiers. Trash blows freely. Sketchy characters visit the park. Those and other features are the "telling details" that develop mythology, express what a narrative is about, and provide context and texture for conversation and thought.

They are youths, too, unformed at least around each other in their degree of grammar sophistication. They use slang, forbidden words accepted by the group, unique though interpretable idioms, and unconventional grammar.

A viewpoint persona's received reflections in this case describe the events, setting, and characters congruent to and simultaneously to the exposition. The narrator voice can be aligned with the viewpoint agonist's, somewhat or entirely apart from the agonist's, or participatory, in any case, some why concerned with the action. An objective narrator stands apart as bystander viewpoint; a journalistic-objective narrator reports the action sequentially though from a later report after the events have taken place and all relevant details are known, including what is known or knowable about individuals' thoughts at the moment, probably paraphrased and tagged.

A subjective narrator, subjective content not per se subject observed, expresses overt charged emotional attitude commentary about received stimuli: about events, settings, and characters. Whereas an objective narrator, in both senses of observer and overtly unbiased, no less uses charged commentary, though covertly, again, from descriptive modifiers.

A first sentence of this template type could imply youthful mischief with an adult degree of cruelty tempered by wisdom is afoot. Rose Middle school hall monitors, the in crowd, not Mary and John do-no-wrong buttheads, meet after school at a mighty oak tree, disheveled and broken, could be contrasted and compared to a new though scraggly sapling, both abused by mischievous park visitors. The sensations and attitude responses toward them then could introduce the locale, time, pendent events that arouse curiosity at least, the situation, what the narrative is about in terms of a moral human condition, complication and conflict, and the persons involved in one average length sentence or two, certainly an average length paragraph or two.

Stream of consciousness methods hold a kernel of how to accomplish so much in so little word count: somewhat more sophisticated narrator expression, somewhat less sophisticated characters' expression, or vice versa -- unconventional though accessible grammar, and, foremost, emotionally charged expression.

Too formal yet clumsy grammar and limited, if any, emotional charge, to me, is a custom of inexperienced writers, too formal to mark stream of consciousness, too clumsy and too unemotional to clearly and strongly signal stream of consciousness. Somewhat experienced writers have potentially useful skills for stream of consciousness, though over- or under-do a strong and clear measure of markers and methods. Experienced writers pierce a bull's-eye.

That then is a substantive consideration for stream of consciousness: what measure of markers and methods and emotional charge is a best practice. Situationally dependent, of course, per narrative and parts and parcels, a measure of thumb somewhat overdoes markers and methods, though leavens them in judiciously and timely, sparsely. Up front heavier markers and methods, once readers appreciate the signals and methods used, less as a narrative progresses. Though a progressional emotional charge arc. Like most any narrative feature or method, a stream-of-consciousness marker and method leavening and lively variety will do the job. A dab or two will do you.

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