Words are such powerful things. Even the simplest. Yes. No. Love. Hate. They can be dangerous. Weapon-like. Cutting and cruel or heart-achingly beautiful. A single word can be the cause of immense happiness. Any author can confirm the truth of that.
Authors are often exhorted to show not tell. As they should be. Telling is so dull. And when you think of the potency of even the most ordinary little words why not take advantage of it. Showing is a satisfying challenge. When I do school visits I demonstrate the power of words with the following phrase (or a variation on it):-
"Get lost Four-Eyes."
I don't think I need add a dialogue tag for the reader of those words to understand something about the speaker and their character, something about the person being spoken to, and the relationship between them. It's a cruel statement. And a picture begins to form. I didn't use a lot of descriptive words to achieve these. Language doesn't have to be complex or generous to create a powerful image. Think of poetry - some of the briefest and yet most powerful language known.
I wish I was a poet. It only happens sometime - maybe days with an 'n' in them once every six months. Most often when I am not looking, it springs out of nowhere and surprises me - Boo! And then before I can hold on to it and put it in a very strong container for safe-keeping it is gone again. Maybe if I kept it in a box it would die anyway. I never know how many holes to poke in the lid or what to feed it.
Other people seem able to keep theirs not only alive but vigorous and healthy for years. Like the fab New Zealand poet Paula Green. Paula has the coolest blog for young poets. Maybe if I had had something like this when I was trying to keep my poetry alive in a box as a kid I would be writing poetry now on days with a 'y' in them. You should go check it out. 'Tis very excellent.
Educational Resource: A Winter's Day in 1939
- Educational Resource: The Were-Nana
- Educational Resource: The Half Life of Ryan Davis
- Educational Resource: Made With Love
- Educational Resource: The House That Went to Sea
- Educational Resource: A Winter's Day in 1939
- Educational Resource: While You Are Sleeping
- Educational Resource: The Song of Kauri
- Educational Resource: Fuzzy Doodle
- Book List - Complete List of my Publications