In the library I felt better, words you could trust and look at till you understood them, they couldn’t change half way through a sentence like people, so it was easier to spot a lie.
So much in writing depends on the superficiality of one’s days. One may be preoccupied with shopping and income tax returns and chance conversations, but the stream of the unconscious continues to flow undisturbed, solving problems, planning ahead: one sits down sterile and dispirited at the desk, and suddenly the words come as though from the air: the situations that seemed blocked in a hopeless impasse move forward: the work has been done while one slept or shopped or talked with friends.
Words and a book and a belief that the world is words…
Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that’s the whole art and joy of words.
I was sitting on the computer last night trying to be productive and actually write something. My first sentence included the character listening to a voice through an intercom and my first thought was, “What kind of voice is it?”
So, naturally, I found myself googling the different ways to describe a voice. I present to you my findings! I hope you all find it useful.
- adenoidal (adj): if someone’s voice is adenoidal, some of the sound seems to come through their nose
- appealing (adj): an appealing look/voice shows that you want help, approval, or agreement
- breathy (adj): with loud breathing noises
- brittle (adj): if you speak in a brittle voice, you sound as if you are about to cry
- croaky (adj): if someone’s voice sounds croaky, they speak in a low, rough voice that sounds as if they have a sore throat
- dead (adj): if someone’s eyes or voice are dead, they feel or show no emotion
- disembodied (adj): a disembodied voice comes from someone who you cannot see
- flat (adj): spoken in a voice that does not go up and down; this word is often used for describing the speech of people from a particular region
A word is not the same with one writer as it is with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.
So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.
A writer is someone who spends years patiently trying to discover the second being inside him, and the world that makes him who he is: when I speak of writing, what comes first to my mind is not a novel, a poem, or literary tradition, it is a person who shuts himself up in a room, sits down at a table, and alone, turns inward; amid its shadows, he builds a new world with words.
Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them! They seemed to be able to give a plastic form to formless things, and to have a music of their own as sweet as that of viol or of flute. Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?