Friday, September 20

For the Love of Words

by Margie Senechal

I do well with dialogue. I can write a conversation that makes you feel like a fly on the wall. However, ask me to describe what they were wearing or what the room looked like, and I'm searching for just the right words.

Which might be why I love rich writing by other authors. The authors who are able to play with words and make you see a normal scene in a totally different way. I've read a couple of such books recently. 

This week I fled through The Thousand Doors of January by Alix E.
Harrow. It's her first book and man, is it rich in words. I don't normally highlight a lot when I'm reading, but this time I couldn't hold back. Who knew I'd reference them today?

"Sometimes I feel there are doors lurking in the creases of every sentence, with periods for knobs and verbs for hinges"

"An old woman, hunched and seamed like a pale walnut, glared down at me."  Is there any doubt what that old woman looks like and in just a few words.

I might've said: It smelled of salt and age and adventure. It smelled like another world, an I want to return right this minute and walk those strange streets.

The old man's eyes remained narrowed and suspicious, a pair of damp blue marbles set in deep folds of flesh. Again, there's no doubt what he looks like and who thinks to use "flesh" instead of skin? I know I didn't. I might now. 

The other book I'm in the process of reading that's giving me the love for words is The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins. 

The rich scent of hazelnut curled with the steam from the opening in the cup's cover, and Grace's soul sighed with relief. She put the car in park, then took the tumbler between both hands and held it reverently as though it were a holy chalice.

This is how I feel when I get my first Egg-nog latte after a long day of work. Forget Pumpkin Spice, I'm waiting for Egg-nog. Oh yeah, back to my blog.

Time to wrap up because I have to get to work and my hair looks a bit like last year's basket liner and I'm tired of fighting with my kitten over the keyboard. Apparently, me being at the computer is a complete draw for her. Agh!

Anyway, suffice it to say, I think we learn best from each other. Have a great weekend!


  1. I love the examples you shared! We could all take some lessons there.

    1. I'd give The Ten Thousand Doors of January 10K stars if possible. It was that good. I bought it because Erin Morgenstern--who wrote one of my all-time faves, The Night Circus--recommended it.

  2. great examples, Margie! I like dialogue, too, and I've found that I can either do good dialogue but without the description or good description with boring dialogue ... which is why I love revisions - whatever I left out, I can make sure gets in there!

    1. I have to "work" to get descriptions in because they don't come naturally. I think I missed me calling as a screenwriter :)