The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Well-Crafted Phrase

        I admit it. I'm a sucker for a great line. 

        I once went to a writing conference (Write to Learn, in Missouri) and fell in love with Rick Bragg.  He was touting his book All Over But the Shoutin'.  The images he created, black ink on white pages, made me swoon.  The affair continued for quite a few years, through his next two memoirs and his collection of newspaper columns. 

        Unfortunately, the affair was one-sided.  I adored his writing.  He never read any of mine..

         I am reading the book Peaches and Cream by W.E. Mueller.  The stories range from crime stories to humorous ones, and even poignant ones.  Here are some of the lines that really hit me:

"It was on the cusp of run-down..."
(part of the depiction of a neighborhood)

"Then his hand dropped from the doorknob and swept to his mouth..."
(Can't you see that old man?  This is a great example of "show, don't tell.")

"Charlie mentally prepares his usual spiel, feeling the rye pinch his stomach, the cheese coming around again in the heat."
(great rhythm, and again, showing---not telling)

           I do  love a well-crafted line... 

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