Monday, October 22, 2012

On Writing: Castle to Home to Musical Notation

I read writing books; they flow through my consciousness dropping flotsam and jetsam.  Here is the substance of one pile from this week’s accumulation.

Novels are castles with many doors.  Any door will lead256Le_Chateau_(5969305362) us inside.  Once inside, we make a home for our readers, a home where the reader is comfortable enough to throw off her coat and snuggle into the overstuffed chair by the fireplace.  In the heat of the flames she pushes off a shoe, letting it plop onto the braided rug; then loosens the laces on the other one.  Twisting and turning, squiggling and squirming, she positions herself sideways in the chair, her back resting against one arm, her legs over the other.  The flames bathe her in orange light as she relaxes and waits for the other shoe to drop. 

No, the visitor is not the novel, but her experience is.  Harmonic frequencies in music cause a reaction, a sympathetic vibration in anything tuned to that frequency.  Our reader vibrates to the tune of our writing when we provide sufficient detail to bring her into a harmonic frequency. 

And that’s it for today’s mixed metaphors on writing. 


Castle picture By besopha (Le Chateau  Uploaded by Magnus Manske) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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