Self-identifying serious writer, Martin Amis, uses a dictionary all the time. I’m delighted by his confession because so do I. Really it’s to improve my sparse vocabulary but, like him, I often find the meaning of the word isn’t what I had in mind.

It’s interesting what he to say about talent, finding rhythm, and avoiding accidental alliteration amongst other things. He talks about crafting a sentence. I’m not sure how much I put into crafting a sentence. While I think that poetry ought to be recited, I hadn’t thought that way about prose; I probably thought this was a fundamental distinction between the two forms. However, yesterday evening I was remembering all the times when a passage in a novel enthralled me. I decided it wasn’t the narrative but the pattern of the chosen words. They were crafted, I imagine, for such an effect.

I suppose I haven’t any high aspirations for my blog posts but I still maintain if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. I shall try to pay more attention to the rhythm in a sentence, resort habitually to the dictionary and thesaurus. All this will be time consuming, of course. I will make my mantra: shorter and better.


Flash Fiction: Same Same but different (Synonyms)

“What are your plans for today, Tom?”

“Today!, I shall attempt a life study; I shall render you, in your full glory, in oils! Now, if you would kindly divest yourself of your garments and stand over by the window… the dappled illumination of the morning sun through the drapes will look gorgeous on your skin.”

“In your dreams.”

“Oh, come on, Claire, cast away your inhibitions, free the inner wild child, be the adventuress!”

“Yeah, right. What is it with you and getting naked all of a sudden? It never seemed to excite you before. You’ve become a bit lascivious in your old age.”

“Lascivious?! I assure you, madam, I am nothing of the kind. I am a champion! of the aesthetic figurative womanly form; I am all for life’s rich beauty! I am an enthusiast!”

“You’re a dirty scoundrel… here, have a go at these pretty geraniums in this nice pot. I’m off to the shops for a bit and I’m meeting Jill for coffee. You be good…Bye!”

“Oh, Claire! But…. Oh, damn and bollocks!”

(178 words)

This is my piece for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie same same but different writing prompt.

The idea is not to use the five words listed here, but to find synonyms for each and weave those synonyms into a story.

I have to say, this is right up my strasse, if you’ll forgive the vernacular. I remember getting my first thesaurus from a mail order book club I once belonged to. It was a mistake, I’d forgetten to post the notice to decline the offer and it was then sent by default. Roget’s Thesaurus! I’d never even heard of a thesaurus before. If asked, I would have guessed at some sort of dinosaur. It took a while to work out how to use it but it did prove useful.

Right, I don’t go in for much dialogue in my writing. No reason, I’ve nothing against dialogue, I just don’t do it much. I think it’s something to do with the he said, she said business and whether you need to find a different word for said each time. But then I’ve seen a lot of advice which says avoid this approach, it looks messy. Simply stick to he said, she said. So I avoided “said” altogether here, it’s not always necessary as I hope you can see.