My dad hated certain words. Process was one of them. He used to cringe hearing the phrase, in the process of… He pointed out buzzwords to me, and now, I’m recognizing many of my own.
“Boy, he has a winsome personality.”
“That’s just not in my wheelhouse.”
“Thank you for reaching out to us.”
Those are just a few that bug me. I won’t even go into modern-day slang. Don’t get me started down that path!
I don’t know why these grate on my nerves. Probably because they are overused,
Okay, I know why reaching out particularly gets to me. It’s the disarming approach I receive when I complain to a corporation. I’m not reaching out…I’m letting you know I’m not happy. And for you to come back and thank me for reaching out makes me want to kick you. (Not you, per se, but the corporation or body to whom I’m complaining.)
What buzzwords irk you?
Last weekend, I returned to my first love—the theatre. A friend had choreographed a production of West Side Story, which I haven’t seen on the stage since high school. It’s such a brilliant show, powerful and timely.
I was struck by the beautiful harmonies of Bernstein’s music. Yes, I’ve heard it before. Goodness, I’ve performed it. But this time, I was able to appreciate the intricate chords and musicality of the piece.
And of course, Sondheim’s lyrics are incomparable.
While the story itself is based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, I think it’s stronger in this setting. The racial issue is something we all relate to, particularly in recent days.
Because of the unique location of this production (a church), someone made announcements beforehand. He said we, the audience, would probably cry. Calloused me sat there thinking, “No way. I know this show forward and backward. The ending is no surprise. I won’t cry.”
You just can’t deny the emotion of the show.
If I ever get a chance to direct it…which is a funny thought because I’ve never had any desire to direct ever…I plan to play up a certain role because something really stood out this time. The character of Anybodys. She’s a tomboy, trying to fit in as one of the Jets. There are two scenes when she “rescues” Tony, the lead.
First is shortly after the rumble, when the police are looking for anyone involved, and second is after he has heard a vicious rumor that causes him to give up.
The first time is understandable. She’s in the area and stumbles upon him.
The second time, though, she’s looking for him. And the thought came to mind…what if she has a crush on him?
Chalk it up to my writer imagination, but I think that gives depth to her character. And if there are any directors out there who want to use that, go for it. Consider it a freebie.
If you ever get a chance to see West Side Story, I recommend it. You’ll laugh along with Anita’s snarky lines. You’ll fall in love all over again with Tony and Maria. You’ll sympathize with Riff and Bernardo. And yes, you will cry. Just expect and accept it.
Last week, I decided to revise the timeline for my books. With The Heralds of the Crown series, I established a timeline that differed from the rest of the saga, so I had to implement that system and do all kinds of crazy conversions and calculations. I also had to remember the system I put in place to begin with.
What? A writer doing math?
Yes, it's true. Writing is so much more than just throwing words on a page.
We have to be English experts. Masters of vocabulary, sentence structure, punctuations, etc. And there are those of us who have created entirely different worlds and universes, so we need to master foreign or made up language as well.
We have to be historians. If you're writing historical fiction, especially. But it's good to tie in lessons or have a frame of reference. And again, if we've made up a universe, we need to be the experts on their history.
We have to be psychologists, analyzing the deeper motives of our characters. The ins-and-outs of these imaginary souls. How they react to certain situations. Their past. Their present. Their hopes. Their goals.
After the book is published, we have to marketing experts. It's nearly impossible to make your voice heard in a loud crowd. This may go back to the psychologist aspect, but we have to know how to build relationships with our audience.
We have to be time-managers. Teachers. Students. The list goes on.
And yes, it includes mathematicians. Who knew?
I have picked up so much through writing my books. I've learned the craft, and I still have much more to learn. But the research aspect is fascinating. Thank goodness for the internet!
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3