Tuesday, May 8, 2012


"I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word.

Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine."
Emily Dickinson
Words. They have authority and influence. 

To motivate and encourage, devastate or heal.

And in books they leave me breathless---a sheer force of beauty. 

They possess the strength to transport me to another world or time or place.

I think of the best sentences I've read and cannot imagine them any other way. They would merely lose their impact.

TAKE FOR EXAMPLE, a simple sentence from the book, THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE.

Jandy Nelson could have written it this way: My heart beats wildly again, ready to burst through my chest.

Instead, she wrote it this way: The flower is blooming again in my chest, this time three seconds from bud to showstopper.

Or a sentence from THE NEAR WITCH.

Victoria Schwab could have said it this way: The wind gusts in the dark night, the windows shuddering and squeaking. 

Instead, she wrote: Outside, the night is still and streaked with silver threads of light, and the wind is breathing against the glass, a wobbling hum that causes the old wooden frame to groan.

See what I mean? MAGIC!

YOUR words--the way you write them--are unlike any others. So choose them carefully. Make them yours. Make them SHINE.



Matthew MacNish said...

Hello diction, my old friend.

Christine Danek said...

You have the best posts and photos. Sigh. I have the sudden urge to go and write.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

That first picture is one of the best I've ever seen.

Unknown said...

So inspiring! Thank you for sharing :)

Christina Lee said...

Christine, I did too, immediately after writing this! Thanks!

Liz Mays said...

Now I just want to get off of this electronic box and go read!

Patti said...

What an awesome picture. I now I have a huge desire to go edit.

Stina said...

Sigh! I'll never write like that. :(

Love the pictures!!!

Christina Lee said...

But Stina, that's what I mean. You weave your own kind of magic, girl (and I should know as your CP)!!!

K. M. Walton said...

The Sky is Everywhere = word magic. I love that book so much.

Elana Johnson said...

Word. That is all. ;)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Sigh. Looking at sentences like that can be discouraging when writing a first draft. I really, really hope those writers didn't just pop those sentences out on the first draft. I'd like to think it took some effort. I hope they sweated tears and blood over 'em. ;)

Meredith said...

Love that Emily DIckinson quote! And your example quotes are just beautiful. Yay for breathtaking words!

Kim Van Sickler said...

Something to strive for!