Style Guide 4 Reyes

The utilization of stylistic vs grammatical priority in writing often times changes a reader’s impression of the story depending on how much the author depends on syntactical effectiveness of their word choice, placement, and coordination of sentences. It is a constant debate of whether or not grammar, formal convention or stylistic emphasis, unorthodox convention is better suited for engaging readers and contributing to the author’s intended tone. Does ethos gained from proficient grammar versus engagement by stylistic means provide an author more leverage in influencing the reader? By evaluating these different approaches in our own strorium games, we can further understand how our interpretations of a story can be dynamically altered. An exemplary storium that employs grammatical usage well is “Harmonia”; The narration contains no breaks in its maintenance of proper grammatical convention. Instead of having one block of text that can overwhelm a reader (like in “Unexpected Love”), “Harmonia” is written with periodic breaks in its text , especially when parts such as the narration are very rich in context. This may often times be interpreted as a choice of style, but the breaks follow grammar effectively. Each time a break is used, it introduces a new idea in the form of an indentation. For example, in Act I, Scene I, Diana Schmidt (Lead Character) has dialogue that follows a small break in the paragraph structure of the character text: “‘I cannot even afford sufficient fertilizer, Diana thought, this will mean next year’s harvest will be worse than this year’s.”  This is not only something that adds to the aesthetics of an author’s work, but will vastly improve the reader’s ability to retain and follow the story’s plot. Personally, this choice of syntax was one aspect of “Harmonia” that made it a pleasure to read and extrapolate ideas from for our own use. As a form of unconventional writing, “Unexpected Love” flows in a way that accentuates the characters and their dialogues. A general trend that I observed when reading our storium was that our decision to cluster extraneous, lengthy blocks of dialogue made the story somewhat more intimate. By intimacy I mean among the characters and their direct relationships that are characterized by back-and-forth dialogue. There were many moments where characters would have this form of interrupted dialogue that simulated conversation. In any other context, but even when one character is prioritized in each scene of the story, dialogue from another character was used. For instance, it was common to see some of Dexter’s dialogue in Marissa’s block of text and vice versa. Looking back at this choice of style for our writing, it’s difficult to determine whether it enriches or undermines our intentions as writers to provide readers with an enjoyable, entertaining experience. However, something that we found certain was that this stylistic choice to follow this scheme of “dog-tail” dialogue became pivotal when it came to scenes with intense imagery. When Dexter finally crosses paths with Marissa after the estranged incident at prom, readers are able to mentally picture the conversation being held inside the diner. Complemented with descriptive rhetoric, it allows the story to become a more immersive experience. This is a choice we felt very comfortable with for the most part because of the romantic-comedy type of genre that “Unexpected Love” strives to be. When Dexter feels anxiousness and his dialogue is able to embody that, readers are able to relate his interactions with Marissa because his experience is something we all go through in the relatively same fashion. The very attractive girl/guy approaches you at the prom and you are confounded with what you should say or do – it’s a concept that distinctly appeals to those that have experienced prom or an overall attraction to someone in a similar context. In terms of which form of style contributed to their work the most, “Unexpected Love” and its use of unconventional syntax and breaks in its paragraphs triumphs. Other than making the plot of “Harmonia” more organized for the convenience of the reader, grammar serves no further purpose in the development of character, setting or plot of the story. On the other hand, “Unexpected Love” relies heavily on its style of this form of dialogue and intertwined character development to enhance the reader’s grasp of the characters and their personas. This is not to say that style triumphs grammatical usage, but in the context of both of these stories, grammar was very surface-level in its contribution to rhetorical effectiveness.