the right direction–looking up

This is just really tight and “up,” if you know what I mean. As in this cluster:

Rarer still, this sudden ache for brush and paint and paper when the popcorn puffs and lines and swirls go by. Cluster clouds are best for finding faces, gargoyles easiest of all because they lend themselves to all the frilly frowns and hairdos.

I’ve been thinking a lot about voice recently in writing as the driving vision of a particular piece. In this Spinning entry, Susan’s definitely finding “a voice” through which to “tell.”

Voice is one of those unteachable elements of observation and telling and is interwoven into the thing in itself. It’s an impression, an echo, the personality of a speaker. A voice says things a particular way. For example “Cluster clouds,” “finding faces,” “easiest of al” don’t just sound right, they’re the voice of the speaker, the mind of the thinker. For the writer, voice is the thing we have to climb inside and ride.

Right on. Read the rest. It’s a tight post that does everything in a compressed amount of time.

7 thoughts on “the right direction–looking up

  1. susan

    Thank you. To think that my voice was out in the backyard all this time and I might have finally found it. It’s about bloody time, isn’t it?

    Would like to quote something you commented to me on another piece, for the benefit of your readers:

    Great–but don’t go overly nuts or obsessive with adjectives: it really has to do with voice. Hear the right voice and you’ll know what needs shedding. I know that sounds too zen, but it’s intuition really. Hear the voice. Let it echo in your head, then “become” that voice. Then you could determine: “This voice would not say pink lacy clouds. It would say clouds that looked strung on a lattice of varicose veins.”

  2. Beverly

    How fantastic. This is why I keep coming back to read your stuff, Susan. The visualization is definitely present. Is there any way this talent of yours can rub off on others? Thanks for pointing out this one Steve.

  3. gibb

    Bev, thank you, thank you, thank you, and yes–it does rub off. It’s feedback, it’s workshopping, it’s reading, reading, reading and writing x three as well. It’s classes, it’s listening, it’s learning. And, it’s writing some more.

    Either that, or it’s sitting out in your backyard.

  4. maureen

    Wow, I love that line..”Clouds that looked strung on a lattice of varicose veins”… I’ve never heard clouds decribed in such a manner..:) Certainly, it is as “delicate” as pink “lacy” clouds..but not as..shall we say feminine or soft?


    Most Graciously,


  5. Maureen

    Good point about not using too many adjectives, Susan…

    It may be poetic, but you want your characters to be real..[realistic dialogue]..In normal conversation, folks don’t go overboard with adjectives…

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