The Burning House
Etruscan Press paperback
…her hair, which smelled of grapefruit and smoke. (35)
Practical, pleasant smells came off her skin: vaporizer, toothpaste, Vaseline Intensive Care. (43)
I loved their smells: laundry soap, herbal tea, patchouli, lavender. (47)
She laughed, a quick quizzical laugh, down through her nostrils. If a honeybee could have laughed, that was the sound of it. (112)
The light outside the window went through stages: first the yellow of sugarless lemonade, then a pale, in-between color. Putty? Oyster? (92)
On adding depth to description by using contradiction:
Joan lay on the couch with an arm thrown over her face, a posture both carefree and desperate at once. (114)
If time could be sweetness, this was it. Sunday night, the sweetest night of the week. And lonesome too, slightly blue. All that work about to begin again, grinding and dull, on the other side of sleep. (49)
On perfect metaphors:
I lay back on the bench, still shaking in some deep basement of the self. (25)
She simply needed to gather the house around herself, and to head down the hall to her study. (36)
I love this one>> “She laughed, a quick quizzical laugh, down through her nostrils. If a honeybee could have laughed, that was the sound of it.”
Thanks so much, Tracy. I’d forgotten I’d written that.
That first quote is a knockout. Love it: …her hair, which smelled of grapefruit and smoke. (35)
I love all your chosen examples. But I physically felt the “shaking in some deep basement of the self.” (25)
Absolutely lovely! Such magic.
Hey. Thanks, Richard.
I have many times realized the need “to gather the house around [my]self” but would never have thought about in those words w/out that lovely quote. Now I will.
Thanks so much, Claire. Take care.
Paul, you’re the best guest I’ve ever had. Thanks for responding here. Looking forward to Unbuilt Projects in October.
Thanks, Cynthia. It’s sweet of you to say that–both things.
Hi, I’m Michelle, a writer new to blogging, looking for great blogs to follow. This one is right up my street! Any similar reccomendations? Thanks, Michelle
Hi Michelle, check out Paul’s blog at http://paullisicky.blogspot.com. You can also try clicking on the names of the people who have commented on this post. And finally try clicking on the “click here” tab at the top of this blog. Thanks for leaving a comment.
Thank you I will check them out. These writing elements, using the senses, juxtaposition and imagery, sum up precisely the key elements I was taught during my three years at university. This is a great reminder of what a fiction writer should be focusing on in every short short story and in every chapter. Glad I found your blog!
Hey Michelle–it’s so good of you to write. Thanks for this comment. I hope you enjoy the blog, which I must get back to soon.