Wednesday Writing Word: Synecdoche

Synecdoche

/sɪˈnɛkdəki/  |  sih-NECK-duh-kee

 

Aside from being an uglier word to say than look at, a synecdoche is a specific type of metonym where something is referred to by either a component of itself or, conversely, a broader category to which it belongs.  When I call myself a writer, I’m naming one aspect of the process to say that I’m a storyteller.

 

Other examples:

  • I need to find a way to put the slog in irons.  [Referring to shackles by their material]
  • Seeking to escape the slog, we entreated the Church to grant us asylum.  [Referring to specific people by the organization they belong to, and that organization by the building it works in]

 

Synecdoche.  Use it.

 

Bene scribete.

Advertisements

Lemons

A pile of lemons

If life hands you lemons, say “Thanks, life!”, ’cause lemons are good!

–Emmy

 

Somewhere in a field of snow
An ermine scampered to and fro.
She was a small but steady thing,
And Emmy was her name.

With fur as white as table salt
(Her tail-tip the only fault),
She zipped unseen along the ground
Whose color was the same.

Now, Emmy served a magic cat –
But, oh, let’s not get into that.
We’re merely speaking of her quest
To find her favorite fruit.

She’d buried one just months before
Beneath the forest’s earthy floor,
Yet now the turn of weather was
Impeding her pursuit.

She dug right here and dug right there
Until at last a yellow glare
Revealed itself to her within
The endless sea of white.

A squeak of joy escaped the throat
Of Emmy the triumphant stoat;
She snatched the lemon up and couldn’t
Wait to take a bite.

She licked her lips and closed her eyes
And sank her fangs into her prize,
But when the juice beset her tongue,
The ermine was distraught.

Without another sip she frowned
And tossed the fruit back to the ground,
Then turned and sulked away and grumbled,
“Stupid bergamot…”

 
 
Floobing bergamots.
 
 
Bene scribete.

Wednesday Writing Word: Anadiplosis

Anadiplosis

/ˌænədɪˈploʊsɪs/  |  AN-uh-dih-PLO-sis

 

Anadiplosis is the repetition of a clause or sentence’s final word(s) at the beginning of the clause or sentence that follows it.  Often strung together to emphasize a linear progression (think Yoda’s mantra, “Fear leads to angerAnger leads to hateHate leads to suffering.”).  With a little reflexivity, it can also set up chiasmus or antimetabole.

 

Other examples:

  • I hate the slog; the slog is awful.  Awful things are no goodgood things are much better.
  • He entered the house, and the house had many rooms, but the rooms were full of boxes, the boxes were stuffed with notes, the notes contained a warning, and that warning read “Beware the slog.”

 

Anadiplosis.  Use it.

 

Bene scribete.

The Moon Goes to Town (Title Theme)

Well…this is embarrassing!

I had said I was going to draw a winner for the book giveaway today, but…apparently no one entered!  I guess that will teach me for trying my hand at viral marketing.  (>^-‘)>

So, instead, I shall leave you with the prototype title theme for a classic point-and-click adventure game a colleague and I are developing.

 

 

Bene scribete.

Wednesday Writing Word: Metonym

Metonym

/ˈmɛtənɪm/  |  MET-uh-nim

 

Metonymy is the metaphorical referral to something by the name of something closely related to it.  Typically used for poetic symbolism, it’s more often seen in established examples than it is in unique cases.  For my fellow Game of Thrones fans, “The Iron Throne” is an often-used metonym for the rulership of Westeros.

 

Other examples:

  • The slog can drive a writer to the bottle.  [Referring to drinking alcoholic beverages]
  • Lo slog, das slogel slog – in any tongue the slog is still the slog.  [Referring to a language]

 

Metonymy.  Use it.

 

Bene scribete.
 


 

(Want to win a free signed copy of The Amber Ring? Check the link for details. Only a few days left, and no entrants yet, so your odds are sitting at 100%!)

 

On Ghostwriting

Writing ghost

Money is the universal shortcut.  You can get just about anything with it.  Sometimes for a lot less than you’d think.

In my line of editing work, I come across a lot of want-ads for ghostwriting.  Now, I can look the other way when it comes to surrogate writing in certain scenarios – you’re a not-so-eloquent public figure who needs the notes and rough drafts for your topical book or memoir worked into something fluid?  Sure, O.K.  But I’m talking about ghostwriting for fiction.  Things like: “I need a sci-fi novel written.  Preferably something to do with space exploration.  Need it to be around 70,000-80,000 words.  Must sign NDA and forgo copyright. I’m willing to pay up to $500.”  (No joke!)  It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there would be a few people out there with that kind of audacity, but I see a dozen of these a day.  And what’s even crazier – these listings get a ton of responses!

It’s a little hard to believe.  I can’t see the appeal to either side of this arrangement.  Does anyone really love the writing process itself so much that they’d be willing to undertake the grueling process of producing a novel for pennies an hour, only to forsake any rights and claims to their own creation upon completion?  Is anyone so desperately enamored with the idea of being known as a writer that they would be satisfied with the hollow “achievement” of putting their name on someone else’s work?  Apparently the answer is a disturbingly frequent yes on both accounts – it’s a big industry.  It baffles me.  It really does.

If I’m being entirely honest, I suppose I would consider ghostwriting a novel for someone if I were offered an absurd amount of money to do so (financial freedom to pursue other projects is nothing to take lightly), but these jobs are being offered at too comical a salary to be considered “just work”.  I could never quite comprehend the sentiment behind the other side of the table, though.  If you want to be a writer then, you know – write!  At the very least seek a co-author if you need help with a specific book.  I simply can’t see fiction-ghostwriting as something that has any reason to be a thing – particularly not as big of a thing as it is.

But I’m curious to hear others’ thoughts on the matter.  Have you ever had experience with ghostwriting (from either side)?  Would you ever consider it?  Am I taking crazy pills?

 

Bene scribete.
 


 

(Want to win a free signed copy of the non-ghostwritten The Amber Ring? Check the link for details. No entrants yet, so your odds are sitting at 100%!)

 

Wednesday Writing Word: Chiasmus

Chiasmus

/kaɪˈæzməs/  |  kye-AZ-muss

 

This is a fun one. Chiasmus occurs when parallel phrases/clauses are syntactically or semantically inverted.  It can be as simple as reversing parts of speech (such as the order of a verb and its adverb), or it can set up statements with poetic symmetry.  Probably better explained by showing than telling.

 

Examples:

  • I hate that the slog exists, and what it does I despise.
  • I wish that the slog would suddenly disappear and die horribly.
  • From a muse you get inspiration; you only get inhibition from the slog.
  • The slog is stupid like a rock, but like a boulder it can crush you.

 

Chiasmus.  Use it.

 

Bene scribete.
 


 

(Want to win a free signed copy of The Amber Ring?  Check the link for details.  No entrants yet, so the odds are sitting at 100%!)