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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Magic in Words


There is music on the printed page for all to hear. To anyone that holds the words of a novel close to their hearts, who can hear the bird song, and taste the coffee from the printed page; the Magic is ours.

“The red eyes flicked up and made contact with my own.” Shadow Kissed by Richelle Mead.

“And as if in answer there came from far away another. Horns, horns, horns. In dark Mindolluin’s sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the North wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.” The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

And this from Burning Daylight by Jack London. Dede and Daylight have just been married and this is their first night:

“She heard the footsteps of Daylight returning, and caught her breath with a quick intake. He took her hand in his, and, as he turned the door-knob, felt her hesitate. Then he put his arm around her; the door swung open, and together they passed in.”

From a CPs Work In Progress, a passage that tore me into pieces:

“You think you’ve been wronged? Whose shadow have you lived in, then? Who gnawed out your mother’s heart and left scraps for her own son? I will not abandon Kate or our child.” Disciple, Part II: Claims Laid – L. Blankenship, Notes From the Jovian Frontier.

In all this, Voice is important. But equally so is passion, sentence structure for dramatic effect, and timing. Sometimes, as in the piece from Burning Daylight, the unsaid speaks like a mega horn. The reader’s imagination supplies the rest.

Resist explaining. Let the words flow but don’t flood the reader’s senses. Let them taste the words, hear the wind in the trees, and see what you see.

1 comment:

Angela Brown said...

It is often said that less is more. It's so true when it comes to writing. And that pieice from the CP's work is quite an emotional snippet.