Thursday, 18 June 2009

Northumberland's flower

The newly appointed county flower of Northumberland - Bloody Cranesbill. It is of the geranium family and has a Latin name but I can't remember it. It is a shade that is hard to reproduce via a camera - it should be more purple than blue, and the veins are redder, hence the bloody tag.

I'm reading more of the Gotham Writers. It struck me that the aim of screenwriters is to " see a movie on the through it, experiencing the story. " I wonder if that is seeping into the fiction writing that many editors demand these days. All the instructions regarding show, don't tell, writing in the present tense, capture a scene in a few well honed words, short sentences, no ambiguiity, cut out the adjectives... don't write "Sally looks sexy," instead tell us "Sally sashays by, shimmering in satin."
Apart from anything else, that sentence is almost a tongue-twister of the Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper fame.

I wish I knew what sashay meant. For years I have read American words and phrases in novels by authors from Evan Hunter to Nora Roberts and although I can usually grasp the meaning, sometimes it isn't at all clear. My dictionary says this of sashay: "Walk or move ostentatiously, casually or diagonally." I'm not sure but I think the average American would have a different picture in their head as to how Sally walked!

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