For the love of words

Take a woman with a low self-esteem, a confident appearance, a difficult job, an easy home-life, and a high IQ. Then stick her in front of a keyboard. What happens next? Depends on who she is, but if she was me then she’d be writing books about conflicted, complex people who talk a lot. Maybe because she is a conflicted, complex person who talks a lot.
In case you just arrived on my scene, I’m the author of the Ruthless Beings series. It follows a group of interrelated people who are constantly overcoming obstacles. The books are based on The Desiderata and Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love. If you read all my blogs you already know this. If you’d read my books you already know this. You probably already know why I wrote in the style I did too.  If you don’t I’ll tell you again. For the love of words.
I have intentionally stripped back all of the emotive language and description of surroundings to a minimum. Some might say that makes it a screenplay, not a book, but they’ve probably never read a screenplay. I experimented with this style because I wanted it to be complicatedly simple – fiction but based in reality, complex themes but in basic words, universally approachable but in Australian English. Complicated but simple, like me and like you.
When you are reading the Ruthless Beings series, you are focused on what you are seeing and hearing, and occasionally get a glimpse of internals, why? Because that’s what you get in life. You make assumptions based on what you see and hear. You can’t see inside a person, you can’t always know what they’re thinking, and you are left to wonder. You have to listen to what they’re saying, watch what they’re doing and think about what you already know about the person.
The ‘fly on the wall’ perspective isn’t something everyone understands, but as you get to know the style and appreciate it for what it is, you become part of the story. You are judging them, making assumptions, feeling for them based on what they’re saying, what you know about their life, what you might do if you were them. And boom, for the love of words, you’re in. You’re a part of their life, and as you get to know more about them, you see them differently, you understand them, you relate to their motivations, you realise maybe you were wrong about them or you nod to the fact that they are just what you assumed they were.  And what else? You no longer care what the weather is like, or what the room looks like, or for every breath and movement to be described with burning, yearning, pounding, intensity … you just want to know what they’re going to say or do next. And maybe their relationship isn’t for you (or maybe it is) but you no longer judge them for it, you understand, and you’ve grown.
This is an experimental style, and it may never catch on, or maybe I’ll be remembered as the crazy woman who thought it was possible to read and write love differently.
There is no wrong or right in story telling – it’s just different.


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