The Art of Words

Words. Crafted in the depths of the imagination. Fuelled by the emotions and motivations that determine our existence. Words. They leap off the page when we read them. They teach us. They soothe us. They make us angry. They make us cry. What is it about the written word that is so enchanting?

They flow from the pen of the writer or from the tap of their fingers racing across the keyboard, to pour out the images bursting in their minds. Writing is a craft, to be sure, that can be learnt, developed and improved upon. Any craft needs practice, and writing is no exception. Yet there is something so non-clinical about writing, about the way stories can paint themselves with words.

As any book lover will know, when you enter a bookshop or a library you are stepping into a cavern of wonders. When you open a book you step inside – you step inside Narnia. The carefully designed spines are all aligned, pointing towards you, wanting you to reach out and carefully slide it from its place and turn the smooth cover over in your hands. The smell may be of freshly printed pages or of paper that has been passed from hand to hand, imagination to imagination, over the years. Flicking the pages and seeing the words printed, waiting to be absorbed.

With our newly claimed book we retreat to a nook or cranny, or the summer air of the outdoors, and peel open the pages to reveal what is inside. The journey is commenced.

The printed words on the page of a book. So quickly devoured. Yet the artist has spent hours, weeks, months, years poring over every single detail, every plot point, every character, every word. Carefully crafting the story before your eyes until it is ready, until the story tells itself. Until it is ready to be passed on. The writer hands over their work, their creation, into the hands of others. Their energy and emotion caught in those words.

What if there were magic in the world? We read stories of wizards and dragons. Yet if we look carefully there is magic here. Our magic is the ink itself. There is magic in words. Words that have the power to provoke feeling. They tug at our heartstrings or make our fingers curl around the pages with anticipation and suspense.

Words. They are alive. They spin, circle, and align to create patterns. Form pictures, images. More than that – grand paintings flowing around the walls of the imagination room. It is there. Inside the mind. Blank walls. Blank floor. Blank ceiling. All white. The words dance. They draw their stories, covering the whiteness in colour.

I sit with the book open on my lap. Sun shining through the window. And I fall in. I fall into the page, into the words. I fall down the rabbit hole and into the C of Chapter One.

Writing Corner: What to Write?

So you’ve decided you want to write a book, but you’re not sure what to write. Maybe you have a few ideas and you’re not sure which to pick. Hopefully this short guide will give you a few things to think about.

Firstly, why are you writing? Are you writing for fun? Do you hope to one day be published? There are many ways to approach what to write. You could come from the direction that you want to pick something that is highly publishable in the current market. I, personally, dislike this view and think that you should write whatever you want! Just because something isn’t popular now, doesn’t mean it won’t be a few years down the line.

If you hope to finish writing your book you need to pick a project you love and will enjoy writing. You need to pick an idea that makes you excited and passionate. Writing about something you really care about will produce the best results.

If you have several ideas and aren’t sure which one to work on set them side by side (physically or in your head) and consider: how original is the plot, do I like the characters, does the idea excite me? If you’re really not sure you could put them in a hat and pick one at random!

Or, you want to write a book, but you don’t really know what to write about. Don’t force any ideas, let them come naturally. Immerse yourself in music, films, games, books, art, anything that you could draw inspiration from.

Whatever you do, just remember to actually get to the writing part!

 

Ideas suggested in Writing Corner are just that, suggestions, and may not suit every writer.