If a sentence is tortured or feels difficult, can the words be saved? I have started to read my proposed book from scratch. It will also be read by a good editor. A professional with words, which I am not. I write the words as they come without dominating them. They need the freedom and ought to be respected. The hope is that the one who uses the words will be equally respectful to the words. It really is a game of give and take. A kind of dance. Take your partner now and dance, but don’t step on those swirling but dainty feet.
Even in the first few hundred words of the proposed book, I had to delete a number of letters and words. I could not really change them and if there is a twisting or torture I rather delete than re-write. It might well mean there will be less words in the final book. No words written by me ought to feel tortured or warped. There is no law about how to form a good sentence. I know there are rules of grammar, syntax and so much else, but even if all those rules are adhered to obediently, will you end up dancing with the words? Sometimes rules stifle and restrict. I mean, have you read the latest BHP annual report? Did you ever enjoy reading the small lettering of your bread-maker machine guarantee certificate? All were written by experts of language with great syntax. Subject, verb and object superbly in the right place.
The lack of language skills does offer the opportunity to not be held back by those rules. It means, that the game of give and take between the words and writer can really flourish, not having to be held to ransom and held back by those same rules and conventions that are so necessary to produce those well written and totally comprehensible BHP or Rio Tinto annual reports and vacuum machine guarantee certificates.
Not having the advantage of conventional education can have dire consequences too, but, at the same time it leaves avenues open of a different way of doing things. It all depends on the individual to then make the best of the given. That’s how it is in most things. You just row with the oars that you were given. Rowing up shit creek without a paddle, is one of my favourite sayings. Who wrote that one? The freedom to row with the words is all that we have. Could the rules and regulations stifle this freedom? It is all so puzzling isn’t it?
I sometimes used to regret not having gone through a university type of education. You know, having a bachelor of arts degree or something similar. It would have given one the opportunity in becoming an engineer or crash-hot dentist. It could have been my lot, or an actuary, bank manager on a leather black swivel chair. Just imagine?
I could have written Annual reports or Budget papers.
I will spend time going through the whole proposed book again. Re-put words a bit here and there. It is naval gazing and somehow an embarrassing procedure, going over what has been written. Of course, the rules of grammar have to be obeyed to a certain degree. Anything still obviously askew will have to be picked up by the editor.
I am now at;
“The on-shore stevedoring workers were dressed in blue singlets and shorts. They could well have thought, while looking up and rolling their ready rub ciggie; ‘here comes another bloody boatload of bloody reffos.’ Definition of ‘Reffo’ ‘a refugee.’ Strictly speaking we were not refugees, but we were all painted with the same brush. European history was complicated and Australians at that time kept things fairly simple. At least we were white.”