Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lovely Prose

Do you remember those remarks in red on your essays or stories that commanded you to "Show, don't tell"? Were you as confused as I was as to how exactly to do that?

Travel writers, like fiction writers, often talk about using all the senses to create a 'sense of place'. In the September 2009 special issue, Top Travel Writers' Dream Assignments, of the Smithsonian magazine, prolific writer Francine Prose shows us how. In her article, "Serene Japan", she doesn't merely tell us that Japan is so.
"Something about the temple grounds -- their eerie beauty, the damp mossy fragrance, the gently hallucinatory patterns of light and shadow as morning sun filters through the ancient, carefully tended pines -- makes us start to speak in whispers and then stop speaking altogether until the only sounds are the bird cries and the swishing of the old-fashioned brooms a pair of gardeners are using to clear fallen pink petals from the gravel paths."
bird cries-swishing
pink petals

 Ah, what lovely poetic prose.

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