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The only ones worth focusing on
Hello, I said.
I want to bring into focus two words from the above statement. But there are three? Yes, but focus only on the attribution to the dialogue. “I said.” Two words. Noun and a verb.
I’d first read about this in Stephen King’s On Writing — how a complete sentence requires just these two words. A noun and a verb. Those are the only type of words worth focusing on.
Just two words, and you can create a plethora of images. Each a complete sentence and just by varying one of the words — the verb — you can change it entirely. Did you know that verb is Latin for word? That’s how important verbs are. They hinge sentences in place, first this way, then that. Writing, after all, is as simple (and as complicated) as understanding how words fall next to each other.
But I want to draw attention to another aspect of the sentence. The tense. All the sentences above are in past tense. Why? They indicate that these actions, these images took place before, before today, before you read them, in a time that’s past. But why stick to the past? I could have gone into present tense? But as I’ve learnt over the last year, every word is selected by the writer for a particular reason — every choice, every decision lays naked on the page to serve a purpose.
The sentences above capture my time in India, which is, as of today in the past tense. Go, read them again.
Until next month,
PS: Sometimes two words are not enough. Sometimes you need a picture. And if you’re looking for an image like summary of my time in India, you should follow me on Instagram, if you aren’t already. See you there.
I told my 12th story at the Tall Tales stage, called “What’s in a Name?” (Though I am considering changing the title to “10 seconds”. Maybe. Maybe not?) It was a thrilling experience to be back on stage again. I’ve missed that feeling and I can’t wait to try and create that same energy in London. Hopefully, I’ll manage. Hopefully, I’ll manage it soon.
My dissertation is close to the end. In a couple of weeks I’ll be submitting it and then the real work starts. 15k words, one polished chapter. But the whole book needs tons of elbow grease. I’m hoping to polish it up and pitch it, soon. Very soon.
I’m also applying for jobs. Because London. I haven’t held one since 2013. Hope for me.
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