Novel Ways Novel Writers Write

As an author I’m forever dazzled by the magical ways the really great authors use language. For fun and interest, I’ve listed some unusual ways some of my favorite novelists put words together.

Such poets are they.

Hope you find these lines propelling to you in some way. I suggest you take your time.

Let’s begin with Iris Murdoch.

“I have a shadowy idea that this may have been so.”

“For with the dawning despair came also the tormenting idea that in spite of everything I was clever, I had a mind though I had never wanted to use it.”

“Floods of light came in.”

“Any surreptitious behaviour or hint of secrets was absolutely taboo.”

‘Oh God’, I said at last, ‘oh God, if I could only see inside your mind!’ ‘If I could only see inside yours!’

“I had seen some shadow of pleasure in her, as if she were suddenly amazed at herself for conceiving of another mode of being…”

“Raw rainy air was waiting for me…”

“Some power had felicitously led my gaze to that glimpse of a dark eye and a bony cheek.”

“…a mystery that still evaded capture.”

“I heard her little thrilled triumphant intake of breath and I shrank from her.”

“I just want to be you.”

“Who am I to have a cosmic sorrow”

“I will now tell the story which is at the centre of this story, and which it was necessary to delay until the moment when, in this story, I told it.”

“For me, the tides of her attractiveness ebbed and flowed under no discernible laws.”

“I considered stretching my hand out to her across the yellow tablecloth as she was willing me to do, but I did not.”

“I heard her little thrilled triumphant intake of breath and I shrank from her.”

“It was one of those happy moments, which must be fairly rare in any life, when good will and circumstance glorify a human encounter.”

On the other hand, listen to Hiromi Kawakami.

“The sound of the key as I locked the front door echoed unpleasantly in the morning air.”

“I stole a glance at his face but his expression was the same as always.”

“…I doubt it would have bothered her, perhaps it would just have contributed to the subtle accumulation of anger—the way a succession of smaller waves accumulate into one big wave—that rippled throughout everyday in unexpected places.”

“…when the daylight is so brief it seems like it’s chasing you.”

“I seemed like we had ended up within a time that didn’t exist anywhere.”

“Everything felt so far away.”

“…I parted the curtain and headed outside, where the nighttime breeze braced against my cheeks.”

“Although the truth was that I fully understood, my head seemed to be pretending I was only half-aware of my own words.”

“His back seemed somehow cold and remote.”

“…I felt as if the person moving steadily away from me,…was a stranger.”

“He had a resonant voice with a somewhat high timbre, but it was … with overtones.”

“Without any greeting or introduction, he spoke as if continuing a conversation we had been having all along.”

“I was surprised by how loudly my own voice echoed.”

“I wondered, on the verge of sleep, the stray thought arriving drowsily, like in a dream.”

“I pressed myself against his body and inhaled the scent of his jacket.”