I still love clever language

One of the things that drives me as a writer is that I love language.  I like language like my University professors – the cleverer the better.

I’ve already blogged about it, and it was interesting to hear from others the phrases that stayed with them well after they’d put the book down and moved on with their life.

To me, language is the tool with which we create.  And the more intricate the tool, the more engaged I am with a story; a world; a character and their journey.  Language done well is a joy; I appreciate that the cleverer the turn of phrase the more energy and time has gone into it.

As I’ve been reading – and I read like how a caterpillar attacks a garden bed of lettuce – I’ve collected quotes that caused me to stop, read again and silently mentally applaud at the sheer craftsmanship.  I respond like an art-lover at the Louvre; blown away by the creativity that has made laughter, love and life leap off a previously empty page.

  • Doug Wilson: who described the Left Behind series as “Hardy Boys in the Apocalypse.”  That one made me chuckle.
  • Ted Dekker:“The world’s bumper sticker reads: Life sucks, and then you die. Perhaps Christian bumper stickers should read: Life sucks, but then you find hope and you can’t wait to die.”  I’m a big admirer of Ted Dekker’s work, but this phrase stayed with me because it painted life as it is, with the reward at the end.  A nice tumble in half-pike position.
  • Charlie Brooker: “I glide through the social whirl with all the elegance of a dog in high heels.”  You can just picture that, can’t you?
  • From the movie Interstellar: “We’re just here to be memories for our kids.”  At a desperate stage of the movie, this quote summed up a character’s frustration, anger and hopelessness in the moment.
  • Charlie Brooker (again, this time about Heston Blumenthal): “He could probably make you a cloud sandwich if you asked. Or a blancmange made of numbers.”
  • Ben Elton: “The earth only has so much bounty to offer and inventing ever larger and more notional prices for that bounty does not change its real value.”  As a sustainability devotee, this quote makes so much sense at so many levels.
  • Frank Peretti: “So what do you do for a living? Staying alive is nice, but you can’t do that forever. It’s how you live the life you have while you have it.”  Just a nice piece of advice buried in the book Monster.

So that’s what has caught my eye.  What about you?  Which turns of phrase stay with you well past the final page?

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