Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
There have been times when I have been writing that I feel my words have become too “flowery”, too descriptive. I love to take imagery and let the reader truly visualize what it is that I am trying to convey. I am also a big fan of using metaphors to get my point across.
For a few brief sentences, I tried to rein in the flourish in my writing and then I realized I would be doing myself a grave injustice. I would be writing with another voice that is distant from the one I have come to know and love. Sure, I could artlessly tell you that the rose petal was falling off, but I would rather tell you that the withered skin of the aging rosebud hung listlessly, clinging desperately to the last breath of life held in the stem. That is my writing voice, that is who I am when I am being true to my craft.
But it is hard to find the balance between too much and not enough. When I write, I want the person reading to be able to smell, taste and feel my words. I want that person to be so immersed in the images that they feel like they have left their physical world and have been transported into my words. But I don’t want them to get so lost in the description that they feel the train of the story is going recklessly off the tracks.
Perhaps the delay in writing my book was to allow my voice to develop through my blog. I have achieved a level of comfort here with my words and my ideas and I know that my voice is my own and not a weak interpretation of another. I don’t just feel like I am telling meaningless stories anymore, I feel like a writer. And Mr. Chekhov, I will never be the one to simply tell you that the moon is shining.
(Thank you Daily Post for the encouragement)
I couldn’t agree more 🙂 Definitely best to be true to your voice. I think blogging is a good way to find your courage and work out which is your own voice. I’ve been suprised at where my own voice has gone. I’ve always enjoyed the descriptive writers such as William Faulkner and Annie Proulx. I also enjoy the succinct writing of those such as Raymond Carver. I’m finding that in my longer pieces there is a feeling of being descriptive as succinctly as I can! I’m not always sure if it always reads well, perhaps it is sometimes too jumpy. But I’m enjoying the learning curve!
It’s a fun ride, that’s for sure!
I came across this quote recently and it struck a chord with me. I love descriptive stories and I write that way as well.
I’m glad the daily post used this one….I loved it.
Well, if this blog is any indication, it’s gonna be a helluva good book.
Aww….thanks Mike. 🙂
I love the quote and I think your writing is always beautifully descriptive. It’s great to have a unique voice too.
Thanks very much. 🙂
Happy for you, as I am still struggling to find my voice. I know what it isn’t, but not necessarily what it is. Your “flowery” writing is great — good luck with the book!
Keep at it – your voice will find you.