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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Words With Impact: Honest Code: Silent Themes

Workshop: Discover Words That Sing

“I think that finding a voice in writing has everything to do with integrity and little to do with stylistic imitation.”     Maeve Binchy

Time as a metaphor can open up as much energy as splitting an atom. The possibilities seem infinite whether we approach it only in chronos time, or in kairos time. Combining both areas together can overwhelm our imagination with the result that we often return to clichés or common metaphors in order to communicate even the most basic characteristics.

Every day we live in both time dimensions. We march to chronos clock schedule. We hold our breath and our souls drink in kairos eternity. When we’re fortunate the two combine and give us a sense of timelessness. We are infused with a sense of purpose. And when our lives start to drift we hold onto those images to keep us on track. Often the very common images themselves are rooted in the ordinary and yet we see something far more.

In the movie Hugo this concept of time as metaphor is explored with extensive creativity, unveiling itself in multiple ways. The kairos time shines through the literal clock-ticking center. Keeping the clocks wound daily grounds the young boy Hugo into an everyday rhythm of reality. And living with the clocks keeps him connected to the memory of his father and the dreams of a new future. The clocks are so ingrained in his life that in some ways they become a picture of his heartbeat.

And still everyone will see this image through a different perspective. I came to the movie version without having read the novel. And I have not seen the 3D version. Others who have bring a different interpretation. In addition we all add our own personal ‘time’ attitudes to the mix. And the possibilities continue to explode into more metaphors.

How do you see time? How does your protagonist? Is it an ogre waiting to devour her day or a beloved friend inviting her to adventure? Understanding, and then capturing, the silent themes adds a richer layer to your ongoing word codes. Even if time itself is not a central theme in your story the attitude towards it can still be heightened for effect.  

Action Steps: Reading Images

1. “Read” the word themes that you noticed when you watched your movie, whether spoken words or silent themes. Write them down.

2. Before checking with a dictionary or thesaurus make a list of all the words you can think of that could also capture that theme as a metaphor. Look for unobtrusive openings to tag the silent theme in your own novel.

3. Pick up an anthology of poetry at the library or a second-hand bookstore. Read at random and note the effect different words have, or not. Some poets will stir a reaction in us and some won’t, regardless of how talented they are.

4. Keep a reading journal on the pieces you read and from other sources as well. Write down the words that surprise, or confuse, or frustrate you. Don’t take the poems apart like a high-school examination question but instead, as a reader, let the words sink in. You never know which words will become a theme or a metaphor for you personally

Share: What word or image caught you by surprise at your reaction?

Read deep, marcy

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"The Seeker" Rachel Marks | Content Copyright Marcy Weydemuller | Site by Eagle Designs
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