Consideraciones Prácticas. Verbos Abstractos.


Un texto puede fallar porque no hay selección de elementos en una descripción. O porque las voces en un diálogo no están diferenciadas. Porque dice lo mismo que cuenta o porque no cuenta nada. Porque el protagonista está mal construido o el narrador mal elegido. Quizá a ese pasaje le falta tensión narrativa, o sería conveniente establecer la autoridad. Porque los valores narrativos de una escena no están bien establecidos o porque las fuerzas antagonistas son insuficientes en la trama…
Lo que quiero decir es que un texto puede fallar por muchas razones. Y que se supone que este blog tiene que ayudar a crear una ficción más competente.

Conocer y saber cómo funcionan los recursos narrativos, para empezar, no duele. Conocer un recurso ayuda a detectar por qué tal pasaje no te está funcionando; es difícil componer una buena descripción si no sabes (aunque sea de forma intuitiva) que es necesaria una selección de elementos, un orden de disposición y un lenguaje determinado. Además, conocer los recursos te dará más opciones creativas y la creatividad está, en gran medida, en elegir bien. En elegir en función de lo que se quiere contar.

El caso es que llevaba unos días dándole vueltas al tema del post, pero los textos que algunos de vosotros me habéis enviado han decidido por mí. Me encanta que decidan por mí. Sí, señala falta de carácter, como la tendencia al resfriado, pero me encanta.

Edward Hopper. Night Hawks

Edward Hopper. Night Hawks

Así que hoy vamos a hablar de algo que no os va a gustar nada, pero que os ayudará a escribir mejor: desde ahora hasta después de Navidad, no podéis utilizar “Verbos Abstractos”.
Ninguno.
La lista incluye: pensar, saber, entender, comprender, creer, desear, recordar, imaginar, querer, gustar y cientos de verbos más que os encanta utilizar.
Me refiero a todos esos verbos que no conducen a una escena, a una dramatización, a una acción física, tangible.
Amar y odiar prohibidos, por supuesto.
Me refiero a esos verbos que tienden a conduciros a frases planas e informativas, de escritor vago y con tendencia al resfriado:

          “En cuanto se despertó, Tomás pensó que odiaba su vida”.

Convertid esa frase en una escena que le permita al lector comprender que Tomás odia su vida. No sé… vive solo en un quinto sin ascensor. Su casa es de alquiler, es vieja y pequeña, se ha vuelto a romper la cisterna del baño. Tiene que coger dos autobuses para llegar al polígono industrial donde trabaja apilando sacos de pienso en el turno de noche de un almacén, vestido con un mono verde y con unos cascos para protegerse del ruido de los camiones. Termina. Le duele la espalda, no ha amanecido y todavía tiene que coger dos autobuses para volver a casa.
Aunque es conveniente no ser tan obvio como yo: los matices molan.

En cualquier caso, hasta después de Navidad, no quiero recibir otro texto que empiece diciendo:

          ”A Tomás nunca le gustaron sus vecinos del quinto”.

Desempaquetad la frase hasta convertirla en una escena dramatizada. Acción con detalles sensoriales específicos. En lugar de personajes sabiendo algo, tenéis que presentar una escena dramatizada para que el lector interprete lo que sabe el personaje.
Se escribe en la página, no en la cabeza del lector.
Escribir no es informar.

El escritor novel (y el mal escritor) tienden a utilizar este tipo de frases con verbo abstracto para abrir un párrafo:

          “Tomás se preguntaba si Paula estaba enfadada”.

Desvelando el propósito del párrafo que viene a continuación, cargándose la tensión del texto e impidiendo que el lector interprete. Como esas frases con las que abríamos la redacción Mis Vacaciones en el colegio:

          ”Estas vacaciones lo he pasado muy bien”.

Y 300 palabras sobre lo bien que te lo pasaste en el parque acuático, aunque te dio pena elegir una langosta del vivero del restaurante.
Por ejemplo:

          “Tomás pensó que no llegaría a tiempo. El móvil no tenía batería y volvió a comprobar el horario pegado en la marquesina. Miró el reloj: faltaban tres minutos, pero podía ver la recta que cruzaba el polígono industrial, más allá del puente, hasta la curva de la fábrica de marcos y no había rastro del autobús. Paula ya estaba esperándole. Seguro“.

¿Veis como la primera frase informa de la intención del párrafo? No lo hagáis.
En todo caso, podríais colocar la frase al final, pero si la escena de la espera estuviese bien descrita, la frase no sería necesaria.

Edward Hopper. New York Movie.

Edward Hopper. New York Movie.

Pensar es abstracto. Saber y creer son intangibles. Hasta que no controléis la dramatización y el ritmo, hasta que no distingáis qué partes de la historia mostrar y qué partes contar (en función del sentido, como siempre) funcionará mejor, será una ficción más fuerte, más competente, si sólo enseñas las acciones físicas y los detalles sensoriales que viven tus personajes. Deja que sea el lector el que piense. El que sepa y crea.

Por supuesto, la lista incluye olvidar y recordar. Y doler (de ahí el dicho: cuando a una persona le duele la cabeza, toma aspirinas. Cuando a un escritor le duele la cabeza, toma notas). Voy a hacer la vista gorda, pero la lista también debería incluir ser y tener: en lugar de contar lo que un personaje “es” o “tiene” (“Paula tiene los ojos verdes”) intentad detallar lo que el personaje (o cosa) “es” o “tiene” con acciones; con un gesto, con un diálogo…

Es una medida temporal, no preocuparse. No pretendo decir que no se puedan utilizar verbos abstractos en un texto de ficción; se usan y mucho. La idea es que controlar los verbos abstractos os ayudará a enseñar vuestra historia en lugar de contarla. Una vez que lo tengáis dominado descubriréis lo blandos que son esos escritores que se deciden por:

          ”Tomás se sentó junto al teléfono preguntándose por qué Paula no llamaba”.

De momento, podéis odiarme todo lo que queráis, pero no utilicéis verbos abstractos. Después de Navidad, volveos locos, pero me apuesto un brazo a que no lo haréis.

Deberes (para los que me han enviado sus textos y para los que no): evidentemente, buscad los verbos abstractos en vuestros relatos y sustituidlos por escenas físicas, tangibles que muestren lo que esos verbos cuentan.
¡Dramatizad!

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