Parallelism: Quotes and Story Progression

stcharlesatduskquotesI’m a big fan of using quotes in my books to create meaningful comparison. When I wrote St. Charles at Dusk, I picked out quotes that were not only powerful in the message, but were also relevant to what I was writing in the story and when. They contained heavy levels of parallelism between their words and the progress of the story. As my story moved forward and the emotions of my characters evolved, thus did the nature of the quotes. When I use quotes, they are not unintentional and the placement is highly strategic. In fact, the parallels are about as heavy-handed as it gets.

I’m currently working on identifying the appropriate quotes for The Storm and the Darkness. I foresee a lot of Thoreau, Emerson, and Hawthorne in my future…

17 thoughts on “Parallelism: Quotes and Story Progression

  1. I am never sure if I can use quotes in my work or if I have to get some kind of appropriate permissions first. There have been many times when I wanted to.

    1. The laws freak me out too. That’s why I only use quotes that are already in the public domain (which is usually 70 years after the death of the author). I wanted to use a song once but didn’t feel like researching all the legal issues it might cause.

      1. Haha, right? Well one thing I DO know is that you’re allowed to use reasonable excerpts or mentions, so long as it doesn’t become excessive. For example, you could use a few lyrics from a song so long as you didn’t quote the whole song. Referencing Pepsi is fine, so long as you don’t write an entire book about Pepsi and how nasty it is 😛

  2. I was going to ask about the public domain and rights thing, but it looks like you beat me too it. Can a person have the ownership of a quote anyway? I’m thinking more quotes from real people than from literature.

      1. Got it and since I don’t own any cows, I can use them forever. Not that epic fantasy books can use quotes. It’d be strange to have Ben Franklin or Thomas Edison have a quote that exists in my world.

      2. Well then those cows are gonna run free forever, Charles. There’s a story in there somewhere, and its beautiful.

        You could always have Fen Branklin make the quote 😛

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