Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Tuesday's Writer's Tip - Observations from John Gardner #MFRWAuthor #BWLAuthor #Verbal sensitivity

While preparing to move into my former study no longer needed as a bedroom, I came across a book I'd read many years ago and delved into the contents. "On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner" had given me much to think about. I began to read the book again.

Verbal Sensitivity was one thing spoken about. A love for words and making them build pictures for others is important to anyone wanting to write. I began with short stories and learned how to make a few words do the job of many. I dabbled in poetry using words in different ways to bring about meanings. When I turned to writing longer stories, I realized my fascination with words would help. I enjoy looking up words in an Entomology book I have and seeing how they arose. But I also liked to use a word a bit different from it's meaning. In our critique group, there was a woman who also liked language but she was a stickler for precision of language. She always had fits when I used a word in a manner she didn't think was proper.

Along with verbal sensitivity, to write novels having a sense of sentence rhythm is valuable. Short sentences, long sentences are needed to create a dream. That's what a novel really is, a world shown through the imagination of the writer. The dream contains characters, setting, action and atmosphere, all created by words.

So work to attain a verbal sensitivity to make your fiction ring.

1 comment:

Reed Stirling said...

Good stuff. I like this post a lot.