Saturday, August 10, 2013

It's All About the Words...

Hi all,

I recently began reading a novel which I'd been wanting to delve into for quite some time but hadn't
had the time to do so. Only two pages into it, I realized that this novel was going to be a delight to read. The author writes with flowery, flowing, descriptive phrases – and personally, I love that style of writing. Why? Because when reading a good novel…

It's all about the words.

Not everyone enjoys my enthusiasm for flowery writing. Many people just want to bypass all the description and get to the meat of a story. I don't blame them. There are times when I want that, too. I'm more of a dialogue person. I usually find myself skipping large passages of description or a character's internal thinking to get to the dialogue. But, when I come upon a story with eloquent writing, I enjoy savoring every word and turn of phrase. Some forms of writing are true art, while other forms of writing are entertainment. I enjoy both, but I only savor one. Why? Because…

It's all about the words.

As a novelist, I do not write flowery phrases or long descriptive passages. I'm just not that kind of writer. I can sometimes turn a really good phrase, but I am not eloquent in my style. My writing style is more direct, and I like to use dialogue more than description. But that doesn't mean I cannot appreciate a novel written in another style. In fact, I believe it's because I don't write in long, overdrawn descriptive phrases that I enjoy reading them all the more.

As self-published authors, I think we sometimes get so caught up in all the aspects of writing and publishing that we sometimes forget to stop and savor the words. I know that I am guilty of this. I become immersed in all the details of publishing, from cover art, to formatting, to publicity. I self-impose deadlines and rush to meet them so I can produce another novel and start the whole editing, packaging, and publicity cycle all over again. And during this process, I sometimes forget that it was my love of the written word that brought me to writing novels in the first place. Because…

It's all about the words.

Then, when I actually relax and read a novel that flows beautifully and fills my head with delightful imagery, I am once again reminded of why I write.

It's all about the words.

Writing isn't a contest. It isn't a marathon where we push ourselves to write six, eight, or ten thousand words a day so we can tell all our friends on Twitter or Facebook what we've accomplished in one sitting. Writing is about creating. It's about savoring each word, each images we create, and every turn of a phrase. It's art. It's imagery. It's storytelling with flair. And yes, lest we forget…

It's all about the words.


Happy writing.


  1. This was beautifully written and is so very true. As a novelist, I cannot help but feel that "words" are as important as the air I breathe.

    1. Thank you, Norma. I really do think we get lost sometimes in the business of writing and forget that it is all about the story and the words. You know you are reading a good story when you get lost in the beauty of the words. :-)

  2. So many readers focus only on what they want when reviewing a novel and it's hard to ask them to do otherwise. Some readers so enjoy direct showing and not telling while there is a market for the allusion of a story where the reader fills in the blanks.

    If you're a writer write for you and the reader who will love you, don't let yourself get caught in semantics.

    Thanks for writing and reading,
    Sarah Butland
    Author of Arm Farm, Brain Tales and Sending You Sammy