It’s absurd when the novelists say that they want the words on the page to sound like something. “I want to marry sound to scene. Sound to action. Above all, it’s the sound that matter.” But what is a sound to the eye! It’s the eye that takes in the page. Very few of these words that are supposed to make sounds will ever make sounds—how many in five or ten readers will speak aloud the lines in the novels that these “sound-obsessed” authors write?
If one, then, writes to the voice in the readers’ head, please be aware, that the brain will say aloud, perhaps you can say, but its voice is not as steady as you presume it to be. It will be silent for stretches, reading the words “silently.” Then it might find certain words to proclaim. Words to get stuck on. Words to read while the reader has stopped paying attention. The reader will also skip words at will; she will skim them when she wants. Pages and pages brushed over. Your sacred words treated like breadcrumbs on a picnic blanket.
And then what are you left with? A novel swept into a dustpan?