Each time I read a book I really like, I break down the author’s work, write down the phrases that impress me, and try to discover what aspect of their writing draws me in. Most times my attraction is due to the author’s way of saying mundane things in unique ways. I’ve started a phrase book to inspire me on those days when I struggle to write with a fresh perspective. I read through the phrases until the itch to create something as clever pushes me to the keyboard. The process usually helps.
I recently read Interred with Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell. She has a PhD in English, and not only did her topic enthrall me, but her phrasing made my taste buds water. Below are just some of her creative uses of the English language:
I camouflaged the lie in a thin wrapping of truth.
I felt hope splinter and crack.
Sparks shimmered down like a slow rain of fiery petals.
A mundane tale of worn-out parts
Smoke scudded across the sky.
The spiraling wail of sirens
A prickle of watching eyes
My voice carving through the shadows
Lights kindled as night crept through the city in a dark tide.
The smokestack speared the night.
Smoke poured like black blood.
Ahhh!!! Divine!!!! Does anyone else get excited reading her words? Since I’m always hunting for unique turns of phrase, always desiring to add to my phrase book, please leave a comment, sharing your ideas of exceptional writing.