The Seduction of Words ~

Words, words, words… I have a love affair with words. I am a word collector. I even keep a leather bound word journal. When I am reading, I will stop as I come across a word or a phrase that I especially enjoy. I will pause, turn around and go back, rereading the words slowly as I mull them over in my mouth, feeling the texture of the words as I express them audibly. Then, so as not to forget the sensual experience of these beautifully crafted words, I carefully write them in my journal, noting where I gathered them so that forever I can return to experience their pleasure once again.

As a writer, I often have vivid scenarios that play out within my mind, so real and detailed that I actually view myself within the scene, watching intently as the action unfolds before my eyes. The question is how I, as a writer, relay to the reader the striking images of my vision. I find that authors often miss out on great opportunities to fully express their imaginative conceptions. They assume that the reader sees what they perceive. But if one is not careful, details are missed as the author fails to deliver an adequate description of all that is within the folds of their mind.

We must never assume that the reader can see into our thoughts. Words are the key. It is said, the genius is in the detail. Nothing should be left unsaid. As I view a scene within my mind’s eye, I look all around and ask myself:  what do I see? What do I hear? What do I smell? Then I painstakingly transcribe each detail into information for my audience, written in just the right way so that they can be caught up into the action with me. I say painstaking; for that is the way it is for me when I write. I have spent two weeks writing one paragraph, thinking, ingesting, researching, for just the right words so that the images flow as a leaf upon a fair breeze. I do not just tell the reader what I see, or hear, or smell. The way I write, the words I choose, the order in which I place the words, are just as important as what I write.

Below is an example. I could say this…

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Nagad stood upon the rise, looking over the land before him. The rolling hills were covered with flowers that waved in the breeze. The morning air was fresh and new, bringing to mind visions from the past.

Or I could say …

Dominating the landscape, across the undulating ground, Nagad beheld various shades of yellow and crimson, short-lived flowers of summer, fluttering in the soft morning breeze. The smell of spring, of the uncertain glory, hung in the air, a variant wave of freshness faintly perceived, coming with the distant scent of apples wafting up from the golden blooms of the crown daisy. Breathing in the smell of the field, the green lap of the vernal season beckoned from sleep and issued forth a flood of memories of youth and peaceful times, of white linen robes and youthful love, and the soft laughter of a virgin.

~excerpt from The Stone of Ebenezer, Trilogy of Kings

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So you see, how a scene is written is so much more than the delivery of information. Not only do I want to describe my characters, my scenes, I want them to come to life, to jump off the page. I desire my reader to have a visceral reaction to all that is transpiring within the words on the page. They should experience the story as a member of the action, not a passive observer, but an integral part of the story. The narrative should flow off the page without difficulty. The story line should be easy to follow; the burden of the saga should be on the author, and not the reader.

So then, go forth and read. But not only read, study how the words are composed. What makes the author’s words come alive?

~Susan

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The Implanted Word

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. ~ James 1:21

Oftentimes in our busy lives, we open the scripture and simply glance over the text, gleaning what is written on the surface. As I came across these words by the apostle James, I began to wonder, what does James mean when he wrote the word implanted? What does it mean to have the word implanted in your heart?

SOMMAI

The picture that came to my mind was that of a little seed. You can sow a seed by casting it upon the ground or you can dig a little hole and bury the seed under the soil.

If your seed is cast upon the ground, it may take root, or it may be eaten by birds, taken away by the wind, or washed away in the rain. It is easy to sow, but it is also a risk that the seed may be lost.

If you chose to bury the seed under the soil, it does take a bit more effort, but chances are that the little seed will take root and be firmly established. Once the seedling takes root, it can grow until it brings forth fruit.

Simon Howden

So then, if we read the word and implant it in our hearts, the word will take root within us. The message will be thought upon and will take hold. It will grow and be firmly established within us so that we can bring forth good fruit in due time. We will be, as James states, doers of the word and not just hearers of the word.

arkorn

So as we read over the scripture, mull over the words, implant them within your heart, allow them to be nourished and to grow, so that you can be firmly established in the word.  Be “not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:25)

~ Susan