Friday, 25 July 2014

If You Want To Write, Read!

I am not sure if these words originated from Diana Gabaldon but they are certainly ones she tells to all those aspiring to write.  Diana shares much sage advice, willingly, graciously and extensively.  I take every tidbit seriously but no piece of advice has rung truer nor more consistently for me than that simple statement.

I have always loved to read but had never thought of it as a training ground for writing.   It made sense.  I began to read more broadly, more voraciously than ever.  A broader exposure to genre helped me discover my preferred groove, my vocabulary became more extensive, and I noted the vast variety of plotting techniques.  But it is my latest reading that reminds me that it is in the concord of the multifaceted parts of language that a story moves from simple to complex, from shelf-worthy to noteworthy.

Diana’s latest novel, Written In My Own Heart’s Blood, is a study in the music of syntax, at times sweet harmony, at others, deliberate raw dissonance.  She weaves a wonderful tale but it is the composition of her language that hums as you sweep through the saga.  Her use of rhythmic dialect, her colourful strings of metaphor, the strident use of powerful verbs, and the resolute beat of pacing, leading to perfect crescendos…poetic, lyrical, emotional—powerful writing orchestrated to draw you into her aria, to allow its melody to flow over you and through you, still singing softly in the corners of your mind and your heart long after you have closed the pages of the book.

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