Monday, March 7, 2011

No Words Needed

To be a writer you have to be a lover of words. You must want to wallow in them, to throw them up in the air and let them rain around you in a storm of awesome. You must want to wrap them around you and hold them close, to find joy rolling in a bed of letters, or swimming in a lake of words. To be a writer, you must be a complete word glutton.

And you must also know when not to use them. This may be the hardest part of all.

There is joy in brevity though. Do you know the feeling of being with someone for so long that no words are needed? How a sideways glance in the middle of a crowd or a slight smile can say so much without any words at all? How about the threatening stare at one of your kids when they misbehave in public? These moments can be so satisfying because you know you have made your point in a brief but completely clear way.

Fewer words can achieve a greater impact if chosen with care.

But I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

What if Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator hadn’t left it at “I’ll be back.” but instead went on to say “in a truck…to crush you behind your safety glass and leave your body broken and disfigured, quite possibly dead and then you’ll wish you’d have let me in when I asked politely despite my serial killer shades and trench coat.” It just doesn’t have the same impact, does it?

Implication can say more with less.

I could go one but I think I'll take my own advice and stop here.  Just remember, if you love the words...sometimes you have to let them go.


  1. True dat. (How's that for brevity?) =)

  2. You know the saying - less is more!

  3. i iz with lisa.
    'nuff said.

    (okay, yeah, im trying to be 'brief' here too. i think i sound stupid, though. oh well...)

  4. Ah yes, the great tagline! Especially when it comes to male characters, oftentimes less is more.

  5. Coming soon, Terminator 5: Robot's Got Words

  6. Spectacular advice! Don't use 44 words when 3 will do.

    (Yes, I counted.)

  7. Ha! I hope one of my characters comes up with a great tag line one of these days. I hope they do a lot of things one of these days!!


It helps to know I'm not just talking to myself.