Dorothy Sebastian 1920’s
Today I thought a little “writing process” post would be fun. So I ask you… Is your writing beastly?
Don’t get defensive. I’m sure your words are beautiful. However, maybe it should be beastly. One way to animate your words is to well — animalize them. (No, that is not a word. Now it’s a “Teaganese” word.) I caution against over use of this animalized technique. However, it really can liven up your text.
In The Three Things Serial Story, if Pip (and her Roaring Twenties friends) thought someone or something was the height of excellence they might say it was “the bee’s knees” or “the cat’s pajamas.” However you can animalize your writing in more descriptive ways.
Here’s a bit from Atonement, Tennessee. Ralda and Bethany happen upon Cael and Gwydion in the middle of an argument. So the women pretend they didn’t overhear the men. They try to choose a tombstone for one of Bethany’s charcoal rubbings, which is intended to be a gift.
After a little looking around, Bethany and I were choosing between a floral carving and one of an angel. Cael was inordinately pleased by the choice of the angel, but Bethany became worried that Lacey might think it was too “graveyardy.”
When we went back to the design of a cluster of roses, I noticed that my florist friend looked rather self-satisfied. For a moment I thought Gwydion would stick his tongue out at Cael. I didn’t know just what the source of the testosterone filled undercurrent was, but they had practically gone from posturing lions to school boys.
Also, you’ve probably heard sentences like the following. He moved with feline grace. Her owlish eyes regarded me curiously. He was a nocturnal creature, thriving on late night forays. You get the idea.
My challenge to you is to animalize a sentence — leave it in a comment here. But remember, this is a G rated blog! (Sorry if I just took the fun out of it.)
Here’s a list to get you started. It doesn’t even begin to cover all the animal adjectives.
Have fun! May your 2017 be filled with mega hugs.
Happy New Year!
Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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