Ravens love the pretty: shiny, flashy objects to collect and horde in their nests. They can't help themselves, and I relate very well to such urges. What would be I in my nest?

Words, of course! I love words. The way I talk and write is loquacious. And sentences; I love long, complex ones, even when they are badly executed, which mine tend to be. To show you what I geek I was - am - I used to make lists of words when I was in High School, and I enjoyed looking them up and writing out their definitions*. Circumambulation was my favorite word for over a decade. And a thesaurus? Makes me weak in the knees, my friends!

My problem with such linguistic hording is that my writing can become rather verbose. So I love reading a book where the author can convey his or her point in a sentence, in a word. It makes me rather green with cupidity; I choose to make envy my fuel, yet another incitement to write. And when I do get the chance to work on my book, the rather consistent prattle in the back of my mind is this: "Keep it simple."

Write now I am reading Alice Hoffman's latest, The Third Angel, (and yes, I know she can become rather formulaic at times, but the woman can convey an image, invoke a memory like nobody's business!) and I am swooning again and again over her talent for brevity. (Hmmm... "with", or "for"?).

Makes me want to chuck EVERYTHING I have written in my WIP so far, and start afresh.


*of course, I don't do that anymore. [cough]

Image used with permission, from Lara Stefansdottir

2 comments

  1. Sarah Hina on November 29, 2008 at 12:33 PM

    I, too, am enraptured with words, and long sentences. :) I'm going to blame all those classics I read in my teen years. Henry James didn't do brevity.

    But I have tried to tighten my writing during the past year. I'm like you, though--very influenced by what I'm presently reading. If I'm really caught up with an author, his/her style speaks to me loudest. Until the next book...

     
  2. KA Cole on December 1, 2008 at 8:28 AM

    Yes, I find that some books I will put down if I don't like how they color my world. Or I will choose a certain book I've read before, because I do love the muse it awakens.