20 comments on “A Matter of Words

  1. it is quite pretty, strange for sure

  2. smilecalm says:

    how wonderful to create understanding
    and harmony
    whilst fires crackle uncontrollably
    and purples berries radiate,
    feeling finally heard,
    “i’m beautiful”

  3. Jane Fritz says:

    Is Bruce an engineer as well as a photographer? His observations are reminiscent of the kind my husband makes!

  4. jackiemallon says:

    Oh, he is a stickler, isn’t he? Now if he’s a carpenter he’s looking not so much for the hangnail that might irritate the reader as the splinter. And thank goodness for the likes of him! My husband was my loyal first reader and he pounced on misspellings, debated my UK versus US word choices, questioned plot holes (as big as potholes!) and generally was a right pain in the arse (Yes, I mean arse not ass) I like you did not go quietly. But boy did I appreciate all his wisdom! Hurrah for carpenters!

  5. I’m with you on the pain in the arse part as well as the appreciation. Maybe we couldn’t go through this process unless we knew we could have a few no holds barred battles along the way. He insisting on a change to something I’m quite convinced no one else on the entire planet gives a flying patootie about 🙂 But – better to err on the side of caution. Thanks for stopping by and refining my analogy – splinter does ring more true to working with a carpenter.

  6. P. C. Zick says:

    That’s funny because I was thinking my husband (former carpenter turned engineer) helps me with similar edits. I guess it’s good to have them around:) for us metaphorical types.

  7. Gwen Stephens says:

    The importance of getting a manuscript in front of another reader, and then some, can’t be understated. We never know how our stories, or even our phrasing, is going to be interpreted by someone else. Sounds like Bruce is the perfect critic.

    • The clarity issue is a big one – what seems so clear to me is certainly not always the case. But what a balancing act between brevity and clarity. I’m finding, on this final polish, that words have to go back in where they were previously cut. Nothing can replace going over and over the manuscript (and not just once or twice.)

  8. Okay, this is scary. My husband is an engineer as well and he too is very much like Bruce in his attention to detail and editing of my manuscripts. Although it’s always annoying at first, when I think about what he says it’s always right on. 😀

  9. I love his quote – a man filled with meaning. Your husband sounds a little like my dad who just looked over my manuscript and spotted similar sorts of errors. Those other sets of eyes are essential in making sure our writing is polished and making sense. I think the berry is named correctly, for their colour is incredible – it’s the tree that’s a little bland!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Gemma. This post was a bit of a mix – with a nod to Mandela, polishing a manuscript and the beauty berry photo. Men seem to tune into specific detail when they read – exactly what we want in a pre-publication reader.

  10. Eric Albee says:

    Words can be incredibly precious. They can bring together a group of men for a common cause or they can tear down boundaries between them. It’s a way to share ourselves with the world. How amazing it is that we can write about a cabin with a fire and we can all understand what it means. We can write about our greatest joys in the world and bring a smile to someones face or we can write about a tragedy we experienced and have others feel and experience things they couldn’t imagine by themselves.
    Nelson Mandela was certainty right on that topic though. It’s such a shame they he had to leave the world. Recently I started reading a biography about him. Very interesting man!
    Very good post as well. I hope you’re having a wonderful week!

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