So I am scratching out moments, minutes really, for reading, and I am returning to finish Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which continues to blow me away. I suppose I experience fewer reading anxieties because he crafts this book so differently from anything I might attempt that I cannot even compare anything I write to it (nor could I generate anything similar).
Earlier this year I read most of Donald Maas’s The Emotional Craft of Writing. I associate his lessons with the general advice to “show not tell,” but he digs deeper into what that might mean, in particular ways writing can make an emotional impact on the reader.
I found his advice helpful, and as I return to Foer’s novel, a masterpiece in terms of emotional impact, I thought I’d share one sample, in which the young narrator lets us know he is sad (grieving a father who died in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center) by saying, “My boots were heavy that day,” a phrase he brings up now and then. The poor kid is dealing with some tough stuff, and this phrase really holds (for me) more emotional impact than other approaches might have.
I may blog now and then on other bits and pieces that strike me as I read. Stay tuned, and read on/write on, everyone.