“And do you think,” said the first swallow, “that the other call is not for us too, in its due season? The call of the lush meadow-grass, wet orchards, warm, insect-haunted ponds, of browsing cattle, of hay-making, and all the farm-buildings clustering round the House of the perfect Eaves?”
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Here is something worth pondering: How do we fashion images in our writing that entice our readers to come along with us to some place that’s far away in time and space from where they spend their days? Perhaps travel with us to some enchanted place that’s really a world or two away from all that’s known and remembered?
Enticing images – ones that delight and startle our readers, inviting them to see the familiar with fresh eyes: Where do we find them? To my mind, among the best sources of inspiration are classic stories for children. Their language is often playful and unfettered, rhythmic and lyrical. There’s an undulating, wayfaring quality to it that seems to carry you forward.
This weekend, I picked up a copy of Wind in the Willows at a yard sale. What a gorgeously written story! Every page sparkles and snaps with wit and and original, evocative word choices. I plan to isolate a few of my favorite passages and challenge myself to bring the same brio and surprise to my YA novel as I’m rewriting it.
There’s so much to learn from wonderful writing! Wherever we find it, let’s savor it for both the pleasure it gives and the ideas it engenders. Write on!