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  • This novel is why. It's about a mixed-race boy, America (he's named after the country he's born in!), who gets caught up with a history of abuse and neglect as he is reticent to open up in front of his therapist, Dr. B.

    Something about the novel always stuck with me as a kid, reading this. Amidst other teen literature nowadays, it does NOT shy away from the brutality and rawness of personal experience, while at the same time it is psychologically true. It's been on the list of banned and challenged literature, which is ironic, because it's the reality of what some kids go through when the worst of life chooses them.

    Anyways, the book uses 'goes' for dialogue attribution, being narrated in the present tense from the subjective view of the titular character:

    They try to make me do group.

    “Who wants to share with America what the purpose of this group is?” the lady goes.

    Nobody bothers, so she picks on some kid all bent over with his arms crossed looking like he’s got nails twisting up his stomach. “Don?” the lady goes, and he squeaks his chair and crosses his arms the other way.

    “Supposed to talk or something,” this Don goes. I’m out of here.

    “Please sit down, America,” the lady tells me. I head for the door. “America, you are required to participate in group,” the lady goes. I keep walking. “Privileges,” I hear her yelling.

    Points, tickets, privileges. You do this, they give you that many. You get that many, they let you out. Let you out where? Some other sorry-ass place. I don’t need this.

    It's a reflection of America's uneducated, skid-row mentality, so he narrates like a street punk where other people are like wind-up dolls, merely waiting for their turn to speak. Quite disassociative.

    Verbal communication has its own quirks. As an easily accessible medium that's dominated by the likes of academic essayists, anal-retentive grammar Nazis and desperate pajeets sexting that girl over DMs, it's not as musically expressive as a film, an illustration or real music where the emotions just click in for you.

    No, the irony of words is that the real value is in the spaces and silences - the negative space - which words sculpt as it feels like you're hand-holding someone's direct attention. There's connotations beyond denotations, and long story short, a half-decent author will unconsciously pull off dirty tricks so that your imagination does much of the filling in.

    Science Fiction and Fantasy authors, particularly those who are not renowned, actually resent the verbal medium when it comes to conveying completely fantastical worlds that have no bearing in any known sense. You simply cannot embroider a verbal passage like you would a fairytale illustration.

    Don't believe me? Try slogging through the following:

    His eyes caught his own reflection in a mirror hanging askew from bubbled marble. His clothes had been regal once, in gray and scarlet and gold; now the finely-woven cloth, brought by merchants from across the World Sea, was torn and dirty, thick with the same dust that covered his hair and skin. For a moment he fingered the symbol on his cloak, a circle half white and half black, the colors separated by a sinuous line. It meant something, that symbol. But the embroidered circle could not hold his attention long. He gazed at his own image with as much wonder. A tall man just into his middle years, handsome once, but now with hair already more white than brown and a face lined by strain and worry, dark eyes that had seen too much. Lews Therin began to chuckle, then threw back his head; his laughter echoed down the lifeless halls.

    “Ilyena, my love! Come to me, my wife. You must see this.”

    Behind him the air rippled, shimmered, solidified into a man who looked around, his mouth twisting briefly with distaste. Not so tall as Lews Therin, he was clothed all in black, save for the snow-white lace at his throat and the silverwork on the turned-down tops of his thigh-high boots. He stepped carefully, handling his cloak fastidiously to avoid brushing the dead. The floor trembled with aftershocks, but his attention was fixed on the man staring into the mirror and laughing.

    If you didn't know any better, it could have been ripped off some amateur writing site, but this is from the opening passages of Robert Jordan's The Eye of the World, which clocks in around 700 pages. Thus, you'll often get these 1,000-page doorstopping tomes with these cheesy art covers that no average Joe, besides otaku, would ever bring themselves to read. (Instead, you have people who publicly circle-jerk feeling classy in having read 'tasteful' literature.)

    So, I use 'goes', because when a story gets to you is when it reaches deeply to the same level that a vivid dream might impart. In dreams, people seldom ever speak; you just understand like it's telepathy, and it's conceivable that the future of humanity's evolution would involve leaving words behind as a vestigial oddity - already, there's a select few who do possess ESP, see out-of-body visions and are able to impart their thoughts directly upon others.

    Also, it's a good way to stand out from the crowd while filtering out midwits - the scourge of anyone who really cares about aesthetics, originality and having a sense of beauty.