Mean What You Say by J J Dare

There’s a funny post floating around on Facebook ( I have no idea who to credit this to) that makes one stop and think:

(The F-bomb is said to have originated from the Latin “futuo,” which, in itself, wasn’t very nice, either. In today’s language, it’s probably the strongest word you can use to show extreme emotion)

How often do you write something with the meaning so clear in your own head that you think others are complete idiots for not getting it? It’s an understandable mistake for an author to make.

As a writer, I picture everything I write. For as long as I’ve been writing, the stories flow onto paper from the images in my head. It’s like a perpetual movie  I’m watching as I feverishly record the action on paper.

But, I’ve been the idiot at times. Although I can describe down to the hairs standing on the protagonist’s arm, if I don’t breathe life into his actions on paper, then he’s simply a stick figure waving a paper sword.

It’s easy to get lost in your own head when you’re writing. After all, you are in the front row of the theater and the movie on the projector follows your direction. Before you invite the public in, though, clean it up.

Ambiguous writing has its place in the literary world, but, if you’re like me, you read for entertainment and enlightenment. If the author says the curtains are blue, that’s what I’m expecting them to be.

Unless, however, the character is in a drug-addled daze and the blue curtains have an entirely different meaning.

If that’s the case and the blue curtains represent something intangible, prep me, the reader, beforehand. Otherwise, those curtains are f’ing blue.


J J Dare is the author of two published books, several short stories and about thirty works-in-progress.

Current enthusiasm is sharpening intangible knives and co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch

1 Comment

Filed under Humor

One response to “Mean What You Say by J J Dare

  1. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me, “that’s not what I meant,” I’d be rich.

    Wars may be politically motivated, but they’re started the result of a misunderstanding of words.

    My father always told me that the burden of communication lies with the communicator. On the other hand, if someone wants to misunderstand something you say or write, they will. No power on earth will stop them.

    Curtains can no longer be sad than a cup of coffee or any other inanimate object. Still, with so many shades of blue from which to choose, as a writer, I would probably indulge myself, and be criticized for being too verbose, as follows:

    The curtains were blue—not in the tone or shade of a John Lee Hooker tune, nor in the term one might use in describing their disposition to their physician when seeking medication for depression, which is really no color at all but a mood. Not a navy or a midnight; not a Miles Davis Kind of Blue. Not the blue that accompanies the maize in the University of Michigan school colors; not the blue eyes of a Siberian husky nor a sky blue; but a sapphire blue—not annoyingly cheerful, nor that draws attention to itself and away from the other furnishings in the room—pleasant, soothing. The color blue that compliments both a morning cup of coffee or tea—although, as Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, the morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it that the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce—as well as an evening glass of scotch. The color blue that invites one nearer, if only to draw the curtains wider to let more light into the room, or to admire the panoramic view on the other side of the glass.

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