“Verdant. Sibilant. Sings. The voice in the darkness. The light in the darkness. The banshee wail and the mournful keen. The slow realization slid, snakelike, across my body.”
Word and phrase alike, I held each of them reverently in my mind’s eye, then solemnly packed them into a gilded box labeled storage. It was time to do some literary house-cleaning.
As writers, we love language and collect words. Perhaps we tell ourselves we love all words equally, but there are those few words, those perfect metaphors, that shine like jewels. We hoard them zealously and display them proudly to any visitor of our work. The, inevitably, over handling turns these vibrant gems dull and our work becomes stale and predictable. This week I have written several pieces set in vastly different places, but found myself traveling the same well worn path in describing them. “Oh no, I thought, crossing out verdant silence with an almost physical pang. “Time for a change.”
So, I am delighted (and a little sad) to say I did it. I went through and made a list of all the words, phrases, and metaphors that have been blacklisted from my writing until further notice. I dragged my writer’s thesaurus from under the small mountain of books it lives under, dusted it off, and placed it in a place of prominence on my writing desk. Last, but not least, I added some highlighters to ruthlessly go over my first drafts for any sign of the usual suspects sneaking in
Here we go! Time to forge new paths into uncharted territories. Today’s challenge: look at your recent works. What words and phrases have been overworked and deserve a vacation?
P/S- Nope, your eyes do not deceive you. I said goodbye to words and metaphors in a post with at least 2x the amount of metaphors allowed by public decency.