Home Discussion Forum What's your opinion of the stream of consciousness narrative mode?

What's your opinion of the stream of consciousness narrative mode?

I was thinking that it might work for my latest story, but then again, The Catcher in the Rye uses it, and most people find that book to be extremely boring. Opinions?


  1. I think that when it works, it is absolutely engrossing and fascinating. However, I also think that only 1 out of every 100 writers can make it work properly.
    For me, it’s one of those things that when it works, it’s magical. But when it doesn’t, it is like pulling teeth and there’s just not a lot of in-between.

  2. If it’s done as well as To the Lighthouse or As I Lay Dying, it’s wonderful. You do run a risk of boring your readers, but do your best to make it as engrossing as possible. BLOW OUR MINDS.

  3. It depends on what your story is about and how you use it to your advantage. Some books would be horrible if this was used, but others thrive due to it. Some examples are:
    (as mentioned – Catcher in the Rye)
    The Perks of being a Wallflower
    The Bell Jar
    Skinny Boy
    –All great books. I think Bell Jar was the most successful in this attempt. If you have never heard of it – it’s a narrative of a young girl living in the (maybe 1920’s? I can’t remember) and she’s going through life; joining a modeling company, making friends, meeting love interests, getting jobs and so on. Throughout the book the reader notices some strange things going on and how she reacts to them. In the end it turns out that she was slowly becoming insane and this was her journey. She goes through shock therapy and mental hospitals. It’s crazy because its so much more in depth when told from her point of view and what’s going on inside her mind. Kind of freaky.
    –Skinny Boy is also quite high on the list. A boys journey through anorexia. It shows the internal battle between the disease and a powerful voice named “You”.
    So since I don’t know your story, I can’t be of much help. I suggest you read one or more of these books and judge for yourself. Do you think that the story is much greater told another way? Or will this give it that “umph” it needs?
    Good luck!!!!!!

  4. The reason for there being much dislike for The Catcher in the Rye is because of the character. He hates everything, has an opinion on everything etc etc. So as long as you don’t exactly do that, you should be fine.


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