Wednesday, September 17, 2014

This Sentence Has Five Words

It is always embarrassing when you realize that those pages on your blog ("The Bookery", "What's Brewing", etc.) are terribly outdated. Happily for my readers, I managed the pages today, so everything on them ought to be correct including where you can buy my books, what projects I currently have in the works, and more. You ought to check it out, if for no other reason than that it no longer looks antiquated. Don't you love the strength of that motivation?

Since releasing the cover for Anon, Sir, Anon, I have this amazingly strong urge to release it early. I will not. I promise I will not. But I cannot wait to order my proof copy and get it in my hands. November 5th might seem a long way off, but till then, why don't you order a copy of Fly Away Home? It is only $12.50 at Amazon and will be a fairly cheap trip back to 1950's NYC. Though I know my writing has grown since publishing Fly Away Home, it is still a book of which I am proud and there is nothing to blush at.

People have commented that ASA is written in a different style than Fly Away Home and even The Windy Side of Care. I am glad they see it because it was done with a conscious effort for cadence and rhythm. You see, in real life (and on this blog), I tend to be breathless, breezy, and verbose. You can hear me rush a dozen words out where three would do. I laughed over a text to a friend recently. He asked a simple, one-line question. I answered with a text three or four or five sentences long, answering his question as I would in real-time conversation. But when you're always jabbering on and on and on, much is lost in the noise. People stop listening. The ear is so assaulted that the brain takes a vacation and runs off elsewhere while you continue with words words WORDS. This happens not only in conversation, but in writing. If one is always chattering, too much slips through the cracks.

In writing Anon, Sir, Anon, I was purposefully aware of varying sentence length, patterns, and reading the sentences out loud to see how they sounded in the mouth. It's a different way of writing, but it pays off. I am surprised and pleased with the...gentility of my prose when I am more economical. But rather than run my mouth over how I did such and such, I found a pin on Pinterest that perfectly represents the case:

Isn't that fascinating? I learned, somewhere between Fly Away Home and Anon, Sir, Anon about cadence and rhythm and I'll keep learning. It's pleasant to be able to see that my writing has improved from one book to the next. What is a "lesson" you've recently learned?


Elisabeth Grace Foley said...

I've seen that sentence-length thing before, and I agree, it's fascinating. I think it's something that you pick up on by reading good literature, too: you notice who uses that rhythm effectively and how they do it.

(By the way, when I clicked on your 'What's Brewing' page I got a message from Blogger that I wasn't allowed access. Sounds like a broken link.)

Rachel Heffington said...

Well that's awkward. XD Fixing it now..

Rachel Heffington said...

And now it won't let me ... contacting my tech girl.

Unknown said...

That is an interesting point. I found the last sentence best to read as I like to read long sentences. Either I read fast or I've read too many books written a long long time ago!