Simone Benedict is a friend of mine. She’s a writer who blogs and who I want to see published. She happens to live in Kansas.
Her wit is only exceeded by the wildness and whimsey of the tales she tells. Her commitment to writing is commendable.
Once, in the comments, I named her my Roving Reporter–out on the fringes of life’s possibilities; bringing words of wonder to my readers.
Here’s her first report:
When Alexander asked me to write a guest post, a few of his words grabbed me. Roving, roaming, free and vagabond. Movement was my first thought.
My writing significantly improved when I heard:
Your writing must move.
I’d already heard show, don’t tell and use active voice, not passive voice and the rest of those rules that are dictated to us. I needed to know the big picture and it was downright divine when I did. Writing must move.
How can we do that? At first it seems contradictory. Words on a page are stationary. The act of writing itself is mostly a stationary activity, as is the act of reading. So why is movement so important in writing? I don’t have any pat answers. I do know it’s a truth and good writing moves.
Depicting movement in writing is a part of the art, I’ve determined. There are some basics every writer can use to achieve it. Yet, it’s a part of each writer’s style. Movement involves speed and rhythm. I work on that while I write. I listen for the movement in others’ writing. As I read, do I hear the “boom, boom” of a marching band or the gentle rocking of a lullaby?
Alexander has posted about the subject of imagery in writing. This too is a part of movement. Our words create visual images for the reader. When I read some writing, I see a series of snapshots. With other writing, I see a film.
If our writing moves as we’re writing, I believe that means we’re on the correct path. This quote by Annie Dillard vividly reveals movement while writing: “With your two bare hands, you hold and fight a sentence’s head while its tail tries to knock you over.”
OK, now you get to ask Simone some really hard questions in the comments :-)
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