Sentence: description or construction?

I want to show you something I’m reading about sentences. Let me know your thoughts.

The main point is this: “There are no descriptions in fiction, there are only constructions.” (this reading is from Philosophy and the Form of Fiction by William H Gass)

We start with a paragraph describing a character named Magister Nicholas Udal. (from The Fifth Queen, Ford Maddox Ford)

 

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Next, we look at removing the colon, and placing that sentence at the end of the paragraph to see how that changes our comprehension of the character.

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Next, the possessives related to clothing are removed, the ‘his doctor’s gown’ is changed to ‘a doctor’s gown’ and the same with the cap.

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And then the same is done with Udal’s features.

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Next, he plays around by letting him own his clothes but not his face:

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from Philospophy and the Form of Fiction by William H Gass.

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Writer’s Diary 7: The Process That I Know

 

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I’m starting another book, and this is what I now know about my writing process.

I now know that what other authors say about writing a book – that the writing of every book is no easier than the first – is a fact I have found to be true, but there are other things that I know, and the knowing makes it a calmer and enjoyable process, perhaps more enjoyable than those books that came after the first, and before the most recent.

I now know that it takes me at least a year to write a book, (others are faster and churn out a few per year, or are slower). I’ve learnt this about my style, and so I know not to expect myself to be quicker. I know that I need to make a plan for a book, and that the end result will only barely resemble that initial plan, but I need to make the plan, regardless. I know I will make many drafts, the first will be sketchy and shallow, the last will be a long and satisfying process of examining every word’s relevance in every sentence. I know that when I have finally completed that book, edited and laid out how a finished book should be, and told everyone that I have finished, the truth will be that I have, in fact, not finished. Three months later I will write one more of at least two more drafts, and I also know, that this process from start to finish is all part of what I find to be the most enjoyable part of writing a book.

Lychees or Peaches: Snowy River Man’s her guy but would Ricky Martin turn for her?

 

 

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I’m very pleased to welcome Lizzy Chandler, author of the newly released Snowy River Man, to answer to Lychees or Peaches. Lizzy, as some of you might know, is the pen name of Elizabeth Lhuede of Australian Women Writers Challenge fame.

For the chance to win a copy of Snowy River Man, head over to Lizzy’s website to enter.

Thank you for taking part in Lychees or Peaches, Lizzy! Hard questions first: Lychees or Peaches?

Lychees. No, peaches. No, Lychees. Can I have both?

 

If you were written about in a newspaper, what would the headline say?

Who’s reading books by Australian women?

 

What is your favourite line from a book or movie?

 “ ‘Here I am.’ ‘So glad you are.’ ” – from Kurt Vonnegut’s The Sirens of Titan.

 

Which genre do you usually write in? And why do you think this is so?

 Suspense. I like to think I’m a lot braver than I am.

 

Tell me a secret about yourself that nobody in the whole world knows? Go on tell me, nobody but me is listening.

 When I was three, I came out of the water at Balmoral Beach and thought my family had packed up and gone home without me. (I’m the eighth child of a huge family, Mum was in hospital with the tenth, and I’d just learned how to swim.) I found my way home up the hill, past Spit Junction, and to our old Federation home in Bardwell Street, Mosman – quite a way. When I got home there was nobody home.

 

What is your latest book about?

 A little boy goes missing from a country rodeo in the Australian alpine country and a psychic, Katrina Delaney, dreams where he is. She wants to help, but the boy’s father is Jack Fairley, a man with whom she had a one-night stand before realising he was engaged to be married.

Snowy River Man is a “category romance” with a twist on a traditional theme. It also has a subtext about race, class and mental illness which I hope give it a greater resonance for readers who don’t usually read or enjoy romance.

 

How did you come up with the title? Did it come to fisticuffs with your editor?

 I first came across Banjo Patterson’s poem “Man from Snowy River” when I was little and loved the rollicking rhythm and picture of the landscape it created in my imagination. In the opening of the novel, my hero Jack Fairley is riding a brumby at a country rodeo when his son goes missing, and I like to think Jack inherits the same “rugged mountain man” tradition.  The setting of the novel is in the northern reaches of the Snowy River Shire, near Adaminaby.

For the title there were no fisticuffs, though my editor did shorten the original. I didn’t realise till later that veteran Australian romance author Valerie Parv also published a book called Snowy River Man.


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When you daydream about singing on The Voice (I know you do) what song do you sing, and if you could have any celebrity judge in the world turn for you who would it be?

I loved watching The Voice – there is so much amazing talent out there! I’d want to sing Sia’s “Chandelier” – and not just because it resonates with my chosen pen-name of Lizzy Chandler. I’d only do it if I had an amazing voice, could dance like Maddie Ziegler in the video and it was the first time anyone on the planet had ever heard the song.

The celebrity judge I’d want to turn for me would be Ricky Martin. That way I could ask him to be on the cover of my next romance novel.

 

What do you really, really, really, love?

Being alive. Being conscious that consciousness is a privilege and I won’t be here forever. Knowing that the more I overcome my fear and learn to love myself and others, the better chance I have of leaving this planet a happier and safer place. Nature. The night sky. Books. My partner. (Not in that order.)

 

Can you show us a quick snap of your work desk? No tidy spic and span ones. I won’t believe you.

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Serious stuff now: where can we purchase your latest book?

Snowy River Man was released on 22 February 2015. Readers can buy a copy from Australian Women Writers’ sponsor BookworldAmazon or the publisher, Escape.

Thanks again for taking part in Lychees or Peaches, Lizzy!

More about Lizzy can be found at Twitter,  Facebook, and Lizzy’s blog.

 

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