I read a comment the other day – “August is like the Sunday of summer” – and it’s stuck with me all week. I read the quote on Twitter so unfortunately don’t know recall the author of the tweet, but a quick Google search has the line credited to a blogger named Lon Horwedel. My thanks to Mr. Horwedel because in that small sentence he hit on a world of imagery that made my writers brain light up in happiness.
And I love when that happens.
The words in and of themselves make little sense, yet when you read it, you know exactly what the author meant. We all know that Sunday feeling. The one that makes you hang on a little tighter, even as you know the time is slipping away. There’s a sense of urgency, yet there’s a sense of relaxation. For now – today – the time is yours.
To the point above, the sentence by itself makes little sense when you parse it apart. August is a month. Sunday is a day. Summer is a season. Yet in the sentence, the author evokes something very real and tangible in the mind of the reader.
I’m amazed how often the writing process is exactly like that. Telling a story is vastly different from writing an English paper. And while the mechanics of putting words on a page to convey information remains the same, the process of telling a story gives a degree of leeway to how you use those words to construct images in the mind of another.
Yes, sentences should be spelled correctly. And yes, grammar is important. And yes, even basics of conveying information should be adhered to. But the rest is up to the storyteller.
In storytelling, a single word can make up a sentence with considerable punch and feeling. Sentences that begin with conjunctions – a strict school no-no - may be just what the story needs. Even characters who speak incorrectly might be exactly what’s needed for the words to mix uncomfortably on the page.
For all these reasons, the art of storytelling is a lot like those Sundays of summer. At the end of the day, my job as a writer is to draw my reader in, making them feel any number of emotions and I only have my words to do that. It’s important that I use each and every one of them to maximum advantage.
So what do you think? What are some of your favorite authors? (I’m always on a hunt to add some great books to my TBR pile). What are some of the ways a good story draws you in and makes you feel something extraordinary?
Thanks for joining me today!
Despite early ambitions of being a diver, a drummer or a doctor, Addison Fox happily discovered she was more suited to life as a writer. She lives in Dallas and - thankfully - doesn't have to operate on anyone. You can find her at her home on the web at www.addisonfox.com. Her latest book, THE MANHATTAN ENCOUNTER, is currently out from Harlequin Romantic Suspense. You can visit her at her website at www.addisonfox.com