Friday, January 21, 2005

Play With Words

Don’t you just love reading a familiar phrase in a new or different way? I do. Occasionally I am able to slip it into my own writing or my own editing work. It has to be done rarely or it becomes a cliche.

I love to read the comics (a habit I acquired as a child and it’s stuck). I know some of my colleagues say they read the newspaper but never the comics.  From my journalism days, I learned the love/ hate relationship about the comic pages in a newspaper. In one sense, comics sell newspapers but in another sense they are not selling anything. In my local Arizona Republic newspaper, there is no advertising on the comic pages. Certain comic strips love to turn a phrase in a different way and it captures a smile or chuckle or possibly some new insight.

One of my personal favorite comic strips is Shoe. I’ve been a longtime follower of this comic which covers different themes but often circles around to something for the writer/ editor. About five years ago when I was living in Colorado, the local newspaper dropped Shoe. I wrote my letter of protest to the editor but it didn’t change anything. It forced me to read the comic online—a habit that I’ve maintained for years. I’ve even collected Shoe books of these comics—many of them out of print.

Take a look at this Shoe comic strip. Yes, follow the link then come back for the rest of this thought. As I read it, I recalled the book by Franklin Graham with Cecil Murphey, Rebel With A Cause. The play on words struck me as I read it and I enjoyed what Chris Cassatt and Gary Brookins put together.

As writers, we need to play with words or to get the right words in the right order. It’s not easy for any of us and involved a great deal of hard work. In the middle of the hard work, take the time to unleash your creativity and work at your writing.

2 Comment:

At 6:41 AM, Blogger relevantgirl Left a note...

Amen, Terry. I hate cliche. I love beautiful turns of phrases, words strung together in surprising ways. That's why I relished PEACE LIKE A RIVER by Leif Enger and THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES by Sue Monk Kidd. It takes an artist to fiddle with words and make them sing a new song.

At 8:15 AM, Blogger violet Left a note...

...or a comedian. The kids' poet Kenn Nesbitt does this so well, turning an expression on its head by interpreting it literally, or just plain playing with the sounds of words. He does that in this poem: Mrs. DeBuss. Read more of his stuff at www.poetry4kids.com.


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