Monday, September 8, 2008

flavor text

Could flavor text work in a novel? (I almost wrote, "I'm just thinking out loud here," but I'm not really thinking out loud at all, am I?) If you don't know what flavor text is, it's probably because you spent time in high school talking to girls or playing a sport other than academic challenge. Flavor Text is the little blurb at the bottom of a Magic The Gathering playing card that hints at a larger story within the context of the playset. I guess what I'm envisioning is a typical third person narrative broken by chapter, yet at the beginning of most or all chapters, there's some of this flavor text to hint at a larger story... mostly past events, conversations between characters in the book, journals, and possibly even the creative writing of certain characters. All of this flavor text would have to inform the larger story, or maybe even be menioned in the larger story, yet I'm afraid it might slow the reader down between chapters, and if it were that important, couldn't the writer find a way to work it into the chapters in the first place? Maybe... yet I don't think I'm envisioning the reader of such a story galloping through at a breakneck pace set by an author who is more concerned with suspense than they are with content (you remember The Davinci Code).

1 comment:

Meagan said...

I always thought Black and Red had the best flavor text. I don't think it would necessarily need to come back in the story... in fact I think it would be better if it didn't. Instead it could give a glimpse of something else that is never referenced but gives an extra (but unnecessary) insight.

As for pacing, I suppose it depends on how your chapters are structured. In the cliffhanger kind of chapters it would certainly be distracting, but chapters that have a more definite end point could work.