Creativity in Prose: Playing with Language

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Considering I’m not in the editing phase of my current project, lately I seem to be extolling a lot of editing topics as far as blogging goes. Not that playing with language should only be considered during the actual editing process, it’s just a better idea to focus on language during that time.

I don’t have a long diatribe to deliver on my topic today. I just happened to be link cruising a week or so ago and came across this blog post, a review of an unconventionally written theology text. And of course it got me thinking.

This part about creativity stuck out glaringly for me:

I credit him for taking risks and doing something unique in a genre … that doesn’t have much going for it except the thousands of people who “have” to read the books…

He’s being creative

in a very

uncreative

field.

Obviously, I adore “genre” fiction. And I have tremendous respect for all “genre” fiction writers because they’re some of the smartest people out there. Yet, I notice the inherent inferiority complex amongst these people I live in awe of. Most –not all!– seem almost afraid or unwilling to play with language like their “literary” compatriots.

Despite better judgment, it’s as if there is still a need for legitimacy in the “genre” world because it’s still measured against the “literary.” And always comes out with a failing grade. “Genre” fiction can have some of the best characters, plots, story lines, and imagination out there –and some of the plainest prose.

I’m not saying every writer should go out and imitate the theology author in the linked post –please don’t, seriously– but they should take away from his example. He knows how language works and he breaks the rules in order to set himself apart in a field that’s highly repetitive. His style is distinct to him in his specific genre; what he does is really nothing new or significant in the poetry world. But in self-help he’s a unique fish in a big pond.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: become an expert so you can become the best rebel you can be! It takes years and millions of words to develop a style that sets you apart but that doesn’t mean you can’t start striving for one at the infant stages of your writing existence. Don’t be afraid of language. Learn about the different devices and use them.

Be creative. Have fun. And write.

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