Monday, October 13, 2008

Can You Hear Me Now?

Euphony: (From Merriam-Webster) pleasing or sweet sound . . . produced by words so formed or combined as to please the ear . . . a harmonious succession of words having a pleasing sound.

What's one of the best ways to breathe life into our words? Breathe sound into them.

Not to mention a fine opportunity to discover what isn't working. Which happens a lot of I pay attention.

Sol Stein, in Stein on Writing recommends a "phone book read." This is where you emote as much as you would if you were reading a list of names. In other words, flat. Without intonation. The idea is that it will help you chose the very best words (verbs) to create emotion.

What can happen to me when I do that is an incredible disengage. I'm reading the words by rote while thinking about what I'm going to make for dinner. It's not that the words are bad, it's just that I've moved on.

As a writer, I know the very best way for me to check my work is to read it aloud. Does it sing? As a suspense novelist, I want to make sure the tension is like an electrical current running through the pages. Occasionally, it needs to be like a downed line, arcing near a water source. But always, I want to make sure it's sizzling in the background.

I have some bookends on my desk (with my M-W and Synonym Finder lodged between them) and on one of them is this quote from Maya Angelou: Do read to someone. When words are infused by the human voice, they come alive.

CR: Dark Pursuit by Brandilyn Collins. I'm not finished reading this yet, but I'm here to tell ya . . . PRE-ORDER IT NOW. The publication date is December 1st—but you just don't want to run the risk of forgetting it in the holiday rush. I'll be posting a review shortly.

Working on: Bringing plants in for the duration and switching summer clothes for winter. Ready to work on that next scene as well.

It's all better with friends.

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