Showing posts with label words. Show all posts
Showing posts with label words. Show all posts

Monday, February 27, 2012

Why We Get in Trouble Sometimes Via Text Messages and Emails

The absence of tone in today's rushed forms of communication is where the trouble lies. Tone is as important as words themselves when it comes to clear communication. The problem with texting and emailing quick notes is that tone is often left up to inserted smiley faces or punctuation (often misused), which hasty readers may overlook or misread, resulting in misunderstandings galore! What we can’t hear, even if only in our heads, often hurts us in terms of understanding the intentions of someone’s words. Thinking about the many “insert-cursor-in-mouth” moments I’ve encountered or heard about from others, I decided to post the following poem to illustrate how specific words are the key to understanding the tone behind the message.

Aah, It’s All in the Tone
by Susan L. Lipson

Slurping hot chicken soup on a cold day, or…
Spilling hot soup on my lap;

Pulling a muscle, or…
Having that sore muscle massaged;

Feeling inspiration strike for a new story, or…
Typing “The End” after the rush of inspiration wanes;

Basking under a hot shower after a week of camping in the wilderness, or…
Discovering that the water heater broke while you were camping—no hot water!

Enjoying a gorgeous view a forest, or…
Watching, horrified, as fire consumes the forest.

Swaying in a hammock between fragrant pines, or…
Falling out of the hammock onto the hard ground.

It takes more than sound to hear tone.

Writers: To meet our goal of affecting and connecting with readers via memorable words, we must not leave tone to the white space between the lines; we must create tone via imagery.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Moving Pictures

Writing that comes alive in a reader's mind uses what I call the D.A.D. Technique(Description, Action, and Dialogue) to connect the movie playing in the writer's imagination to the blank screen in the reader's head. The vivid verbal movie is in "HD" and "3D" when the writer employs multisensory imagery and realistic dialogue, along with revealing close ups on characters, to transfer the footage to the reader. Writing that uses only dialogue conveys a mere audio clip, with a blank picture. Writing that uses only visual description without enough action serves as a mere slide show; whereas action scenes, with little description and no dialogue, portray nothing more than a silent movie in the reader's cerebral screen.

Memorable words comprise experiences, first conceived in a writer's mind, and then translated into words that SHOW, not merely tell about the scene. If we writers cannot get a clear picture of a scene in our own heads, we are not yet ready to transfer that scene to paper, and then to a reader's mind. Writing to communicate word pictures requires time to imagine and time to craft a preview version, time to share the preview, and time to revise it before the debut of the fully developed feature film of words.

As books move more and more to screens over pages, we writers need to keep in mind the importance of creating memorable images to compete with our sister industry, that of Film.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Game of Things

My friends brought over a fun word game the other night: The Game of Things. One person picks a category card that describes "Things that...," and everyone writes her/his example to fit that category on individual slips of paper. The player who chose the card collects all of the slips and reads them aloud. Then the players guess, one by one, who wrote which example/answer, pondering and usually laughing over the appropriateness of each response.

One of the players at our table picked a category card that read something like, "Things that Will Keep You from Getting to Heaven." My smart friend Tina's response will stay with me for a long time: "A lack of good direction." Literally and figuratively, one needs good direction to get to Heaven, yes! That answer won my prize for memorable words--a mention in my blog! Woo hoo!

How would YOU answer this category with a double entendre: "Things that Move"? Or how about "Things that Slow People Down"?

Can you make up your own category that might lend itself to a profound double meaning? Try it; it's fun!

P.S. My answers to the above two proposed categories: "letters being typed into words" and "worn-out soles/souls."