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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Trying To Whisper More

Soon after meeting the newest member of my reading posse ten years ago, I knew she was someone who needed to be part of my life. What I didn't know was how her rich insights would enhance my passion for and understanding of literature. If you're as lucky as I to have someone in your life that does that for you, please share it with me here. 


Until re-reading the post above - written five years ago today - I didn't realize how my newest reading soulmate had come to my rescue, again. In that post, I'd confessed my struggle to distinguish quiet vs. inert prose. In a recent virtual conversation with her, a phrase my new friend had used previously to describe either intrusive prose or overly mechanistic plot twists - "...seeing the author..." - came up as we discussed a book. The re-reading of my post and her telling phrase suddenly collided, revealing a crucial element to assist me with the struggle I'd identified.

If I can "...see..."  the author, by definition, the prose is not quiet. Although that alone doesn't make the prose inert, it does get me closer to being the kind of reader I want to be. Equally important,  recalling my friend's useful distinction will also improve help me improve as a writer, if I...
1.) avoid writing inert prose.
2.) decide if I want the reader to "...see..." me and if so, ensure I'm doing so not just to be clever.
3.) continue aiming for quiet prose.

In my experience, if not practice, whispering is more effective than yelling or attracting attention. I'm aiming to be better at this in both my life and in my writing. As always, I have other people to thank for helping me find my way.           

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