They say the camera never lies, but it never tells the whole truth either. You think you can see what’s real but there are all sorts of things you can’t see just beyond the frame of the photograph and beyond the moment when the photograph is taken.
That happy smiling person you can see may have troubles in their life that you know nothing about, that idyllic scene may have mountains of rubbish and a power plant just out of shot making it a nightmare wasteland instead of a beautiful landscape.
Some time ago I was listening to the radio and an official from the Coastguard Service was talking about deploying their ‘fixed-wing assets’. It took me a few seconds to realise she meant aircraft.
Specialist language is fine when you are talking to colleagues in your own profession, or when writing for a book – or a magazine – with a specific area of interest, but a novel needs to be more far-reaching than that. As writers we want to reach the widest audience possible.
Matt is ‘an iOS (iPad, iPhone and iPod touch) and Mac OS X (Cocoa) developer and user experience/interface designer, based in Edinburgh, Scotland’ and not a writer in the sense of being an author of stories – at least not yet.
Baffled by semicolons? Not sure when to use them? Won’t a comma do instead?
Think of the semicolon as a full stop (period) combined with a comma. It is not quite a full stop and not quite a comma. You might use it when the next clause is related in subject or idea, but not so unrelated as to warrant a full stop.
In short, a semicolon combines two or more clauses, that are related in subject or idea and could be written alternatively as either one sentence or two separate ones.
I’ve been reading the post on Writing Forward about using dreams and daydreams as prompts for stories. Melissa suggests keeping a journal of dreams and daydreams and using them as a way to inform and inspire your writing.
It’s amazing how the most unexpected things crop up and give an idea for a story. I was talking to a colleague at work and the usual ‘Did you see…?‘ conversation struck up. ‘No, I didn’t …‘ because I don’t have a TV. So she told me anyway.
There had been a programme on the night before about grown men who acted out being babies and the women who ‘looked after’ them. While I sympathised that there may be deep-rooted psychological problems, not least for the women concerned, I didn’t really want to know more.
Reading a book is always an inspiring thing to do. I find inspiration in the language used, the crafting of each sentence, and the ideas behind the story. I find myself savouring little nuances of language that can convey so much and admiring the plotting that carries the story forward. It is not at all distracting from a good read to note and remember the way it is written.