Welcome to Wordsmith 101. In much the same way as a personal trainer’s fortitude and determination sculpts slabs of sagging flesh into taught, defined muscle and the swordsmith’s attention to detail forges a molten lump of steel into a keen, sturdy blade, so does a wordsmith wield the mighty pen and fashion clumps of nouns, verbs, and adjectives into a vibrant spectacle you can smell, see, hear, and taste from the comfort of your beach chair.
*This e-course is not for the faint-hearted, unless you are ready to set the loudmouth, browbeating perfectionist living inside your head aflame. Indeed, you will need to supply your own match. This will show your brain you mean business, thereby setting your intention for success. Please also be aware that the ensuing trip to the Grammar Mine is not optional.
Hence, the assignment:
I’ll go first…
Magician, wizard, sorceress – the trio evokes a mystical world inhabited by dark, lithe wand wielding, spell conjuring figures draped in flowing robes, arms raised to billowing, charred clouds clapping their applause in response to the audacity of the lone figures’ cockiness, their cloaked silhouettes, whipped by blustering gale force winds attended by lashing rain, thrashed by ropes of scraggly hair, somewhat akin to the nest of writhing snakes hissing from the Medusa’s scalp as she commands stray strands, those that have dared to gather in stringy clusters, to cling to the array of wizened faces made visible only by flashing bursts of blinding light prompting them to teeter on fringes of imposing cliffs jutting, much like index fingers pointing the way, across an expansive, inky abyss.
Some say, others deny, that Albert Einstein once said, “Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.”
Oh, my! I suspect I will be in for a bumpy ride. So, while I batten down the hatches and rummage through the closet for ear plugs, a rain slicker, and wellies, please be advised that Wordsmith 201 – Mining The Dump – may be accessed forthwith. This self-paced course, often called revision, is suggested only for those ready to rephrase clichés, turn up the tension, and kill their darlings. Slashing and burning redundancies, adverbs, weak adjectives, and the occasional dangling participle will be required. Suggested reference material: On Being Yaccarino’d.
Now that we’ve got that straight, I’m off to sweat the next scene before hitting the shower.
How about you?
What’s your process?
Do you start with a stump and then whittle your way to well sculpted prose and/or poetry?