Have you ever been inspired by language? I have. William Shakespeare comes immediately to mind when I consider words that have inspired me. Lines such as: ‘We few, we happy few, we band of brothers’ (Henry V), ‘I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me’ (Beatrice in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’) or ‘Hath not a Jew eyes?…If you prick us do we not bleed?’ (Shylock in ‘The Merchant of Venice’) are so memorable for me. They inspire me to try with my writing. I could never hope to emulate Shakespeare, but his writing brings so many images into my head when I read or watch his plays being performed that it makes me want to develop my own stories.
Of course there are many, many more words from Shakespeare’s plays I could mention but those are some of the ones that really stick in my mind. But it’s not just Shakespeare whose words are in my head a lot. As a Christian, I find many of the words from the Bible stay in my head a long time. Even if you’re not religious, you’ve probably been to at least one wedding where the words from 1 Corinthians 13 have been read out: ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud’, and so on. These words also stay with me, particularly when I’m not feeling very loving and want to bite someone’s head off!! The characters and personalities in the Bible are mostly just like us – very human – and the words the various authors in the Bible use to describe them can at times be elegant and poetic, great examples of writing at its best.
My favourite author, as I’ve probably already said on this blog, has to be Jane Austen. Again, her words (mostly those from my favourite novel she wrote ‘Pride and Prejudice’) stay with me long after I’ve read them. One line in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ which I think is lovely is towards the end. Elizabeth’s opinion of Mr Darcy has changed. Now, ‘She began to comprehend that he was exactly the man who, in dispostion and talents, would most suit her.’ It sums up perfectly for me the way in which Elizabeth herself has changed as a person over the course of the novel, from hating Mr Darcy with a passion to being deeply in love with him. To me Jane Austen is a wonderful writer who I would love to be if only a little bit like. Although I can hardly claim to have her talent, like her I tend to feel at home writing a lot of dialogue and it would be wonderful for me if I could emulate her style (albeit in 21st century fashion!) in my writing.
What sort of words inspire your writing?
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