Good grief, Charlie Brown! I can’t decide.
There’s God, the original eye in the sky and the author of everything.
There’s green, my favorite color. My back yard is so vividly green right now, I must squint to take it in.
Soon, I shall plow up the stony ground and plant a green (organic) garden, while Google Earth passes by on its spy route, snapping pictures as I weed or sunbathe. (The pervert.)
And then there’s Grace. A lovely word—it’s onomatopoeic, don’t you think?
Grace is doing something difficult and making it look easy. Graceful prose is a virtuoso performance, usually achieved only after years of apprenticeship and practice.
And yet, while prose certainly should be graceful—its workings should be as invisible as possible to the reader—it shouldn’t always sound graceful.
Short, staccato sentences make for tension, suspense, or melodrama. “He drew his gun and pointed it at her. She froze.” Tick. “The door swung open. He wheeled and fired.” Tock.
Long sentences, full of clauses and commas, slow the flow and make the reader pay attention—or lose interest. Prose like this may sound scholarly and wise—or obtuse and mincing, depending upon such things as vocabulary and tone.
Use passive voice (yes, you have my permission) and the presence of the actor-subject is protectively hidden from view. “The photos were taken in the heat of the day.” This is the perfect ploy for spies, politicians, puppet-masters, and magicians. (And aren’t writers a bit like all four?)
What prose devices do you use and to what effect?
Attempting a graceful exit, I’ll just say, ’til Monday . . .