I attended my second writing group meeting on Friday. I had fun and we all had a lot of lively conversation and laughter.
I even did my first writing exercise for Shadow Sight. However, it didn’t really go to plan…
“One of your secondary characters tells you about the parts of their life you didn’t know…”
KR: “Where’s Kaahn?”
E: “Here. Why?”
KR: “Just wondered. How did you first discover he was real?”
I’m sure you’re absolutely riveted…
It was useful, and I learned a lot about his back-story that will aid me in writing his scenes better. But when it came to sharing our work, I noticed how well the other pieces had been written. Description and jokes, men given pink shoes… and then mine.
For me, the exercise did what it needed to. Reading out that snippet got a laugh around the table. But part of me remembered my 14-year-old self who wrote poetry about the iridescent sun shining through luminescent leaves of lime; even in a first draft.
I grew up as a linguist. My highest marks in college were for English Language. My teacher was surprised I didn’t go to University to study it, and wrote a recommendation that I could easily take it that far anyway. I love the history, the lexicon. My favourite word is “lemma” which the term for “the meaning of a word”.
And sitting at that table drinking tea, I realised that in trying to write a book around my work and just editing the same story for two years, I’ve lost that command of vocabulary. I no longer look up pretty words and try to expand my understanding of the English language.
As a writer, I realise that I need that to change.
Today I’ve picked amalgamate; a word I used in pretty much every poem for two years because it was so rarely used but well understood. Hopefully it will guide me to collecting all my linguistic knowledge and pouring it across the pages of my novels.