Brool brool (n.) : a low roar; a deep murmur or humming

Artistic License

 |  writing

I’ve decided to get much more into writing, so I finally went down to the local library, took the test (you can only miss five or less, I know some people that have taken it two or three times), and got my artistic license. It’s only the basic literary license; I’m allowed to merge story characters together, add characters to move the plot along, elide speeches and conversations, and play a little loose with facts in the interests of good pacing. I have to have this for at least three years before I can get the class B license, which allows you to make up anything and everything (it’s for political speech writers and tabloid editors, as far as I can tell).

The lady that graded the test was this off-putting schoolteacher type with horn-rimmed glasses, but she was actually pretty nice. She gave me the right answers to the questions that I missed, although there was one that I disagreed with:

You are writing a story set in “a day in the life” of an artist that lived in the 1930s (the story is in first person). While never married, he had a platonic relationship for many years with a woman that was 14 years younger. You are unable to find any evidence that there was any physical relationship, but there are a series of letters that indicate a deep and abiding affection between the two. Do you:

  1. Don’t bring it up at all, the evidence is not conclusive
  2. Mention the letters in the story, with potential quotes from them in the protagonist’s voice (as in, “I thought once again about the letter I had written her so many years ago…“)
  3. Extrapolate the emotions and have them expressed in the protagonist’s voice (as in, “I looked at her, and once again was struck by her beauty…“)
  4. Create a minor physical action to express emotions (as in, “I adjusted a wayward lock of her hair as I looked into her eyes”)
  5. Create a major physical action to express emotion (as in, “We ripped off our clothes in our mad pursuit…“)

It turns out they think the right answer is “3,” but I think that it’s “2”; if you’re going to do 3, you might as well go all the way to 4!


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