Purpose Of Interludes
by Samantha Hall
Hi, First i want to start off by saying how much i admire your blogs and tips on writing so much that it EXTREMELY helped me with starting my novel. It helped so much that im close to being done.
What i want to ask is sort of a two part question.
1. What is the purpose of Interludes in novel? I see interludes in authors novels like Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss and i was wondering, what purpose does they serve. From my understanding they seem like sideline stories that has nothing to do with the the ACTUAL story but JUST the world for worldbuilding (I guess). Like couldn't those interludes be "Novella's" because i see authors write novellas where the story is told my other character point of views to see the world in a different perspective and they are sideline stories. If its not to much to ask but could you elaborate on what purpose "Interludes" serve and how could others use them in their stories.
2. I wanted to write another novel that i will try to actually get published by an publisher but i have a few ideas that i need advice on. I wrote poems that relate to the story and characters, that i want to include in the novel. Is that okay to do? I also was thinking, when you get a publisher and YOU want illustrations for your novel, do you have to get approval from your publisher or you can go ahead and do it? Like whats the process of including illustrations?
Thank You so much for your time as i will continue to use your tips for every novel i write and hopefully
your answers for these questions would help me in my future endeavors as well. Answer:
Sometimes interludes can be used for thematic purposes -- as opportunities to look at certain themes from different perspectives. Sometimes they can be used to deepen the reader's understanding of the story world or situation.
Other times, they can illustrate the story goal. This is most often true in cases where the story goal is not so much a concrete event but a general concern shared by most characters.
You can also use them as opportunities to explore character relationships, or to create dramatic irony (if you want the reader to find out something that happens when the main character is not around).
You can have multiple stories within one novel by using several point-of-view characters. Again, this may be to provide different perspectives on the overall theme or plot.
In any case, my feeling is that interludes should have a purpose. You should know why you are including them, even if it's not obvious to all readers.
As for your second question... you can certainly include poetry in a manuscript (J.R.R. Tolkein did it all the time).
However, publishers usually have the last word on a book's design, including illustrations. Most of the time, they prefer to hire an illustrator themselves rather than have the author provide illustrations.
Once you have a contract (and have sold them on your words), you may be able to express your ideas regarding illustrations. But it's a negotiation and the amount of power you have depends on their faith in your ability to sell books vs. their own experience in this area. In other words, it helps if you have a track record.