Thursday, 17 April 2014

Writing - Descriptive writing and investing emotion.

The sixth Steele novel is nearing its conclusion and I was writing a section today which I thought deserved some work. Not that all of my sentences don't need work - see what I mean.

It just seems that when writers produce copious words at speeds which are significant it is easy to neglect opportunities. Building on 'the writing from where you're at' philosophy having visited Ireland Steele is passing through once again and an opportunity presented itself.

I could have written,

'The painted houses and shops shone against the hillside behind.'

but what I did produce was,

'The brightly colour washed houses and shops gleamed like jewels against the green of the distant, hilly backdrop. '

There's no great difference but by reflecting on the mixture of excitement and surprise the first time I visited the Emerald Isle and witnessed the sight of the painted cottages, I felt that sentence required a little more work.

In other words I was investing some of the feeling I experienced on visiting the same place years before.

I am currently reading a biography of Charles Dickens by Claire Tomalin and was intrigued by her description of the state Dickens got into over the death of Nell in the Old Curiosity Shop. It has to be remembered this was a character and I quote.

"Dickens himself suffered as he wrote of Nell's decline, and shared his sufferings with his friends using these words - 'You can't imagine how exhausted I am with yesterdays labours ... All night I have been pursued by the child; and this morning I'm unrefreshed and miserable. I don't know what to do with myself.' 

Then later 'The difficulty has been tremendous - the anguish unspeakable'

Finally, 'I am slowly murdering the poor child, and grow wretched over it. It wrings my heart. Yet it must be."

What a wonderful, terrible representation of a writer investing in a creation of their own.

God Bless