Last week our prompt was to write something of any length that had consistent diction. I’ll admit, I was pretty pumped about this. I’d been looking forward to doing a side-by-side comparison of Anglo-Saxon vs Latinate language since I first read John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction.
Below are three versions of the same (rather contrived) paragraph. The first showcasing Germanic words, the second with their Latinate synonyms, and the third is a blend of the two. This was achieved with help from this wiki, as well as a heck of a lot of googling. Let me know which you prefer, or if you notice a difference in the imagery they provoke.
The King’s Guides gathered in the great hall. Some looked friendly, others seemed deep in thought. Liem understood that the time had come to give up his throne. It was best to begin his new life while he was still alive. He took a breath and readied himself to answer the unspoken question.
The royal advisors congregated in the great hall. Plenty appeared amicable, others seemed pensive. Liem accepted that the time had come to renounce the throne. He thought it apt to commence his new life while he was still animate. He inhaled and prepared to proffer his response to the tacit inquiry.
His advisors had gathered in the great hall. Some looked friendly enough, others seemed pensive. Liem understood that the time had come to give up his throne. It was best to begin his new life while he was still living. He took a deep breath and prepared to answer the tacit question.
For this week’s prompt write 500 words to practice building suspense.
For this exercise let’s:
- Consider how word choice can speed up or slow down the action in a story. Some words take longer to say—polysyllabic words, obviously, but also words with long vowels (bring vs brine)
- Consider how sentence length speeds up or slows down the action, too.
I hope you all have the best possible week, and keep writing!