Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The dancing words

I don't get a lot of comments on this blog, but some are interesting. I recently wrote a blog on "the lead," and a reader found an interesting take on it.

She wrote: "Makes me think about being a good dance partner. How so, you might ask? Think about it. For the sake of this writing, let's say it takes two to dance (even though I know I've singularly danced more than once). In many traditions, there's a leader and the lead. When the leader leads, the lead follows and the two become one and...off they whirl! Same/same with writing a good lead - if it's done "right", it leads the reader into the "dance" of the rest of the piece, the written and the reader become one and...off they whirl!

"As in dance, writing has conventions, innovations and improvisations. As in dance, also for the writer of a good lead, all those "tions" are brought into play to capture/create the lead that sets the rest of the piece, bringing a reader into it, as active participant to be convinced, educated, informed, amused and to - at foundation - think and 'feel' the story."

I have to admit I had never thought of this, and I was a little stunned when I first read it. Still, I can see the swirl of words as they dance across the page. With me, the words never get faster than a mild rumba; most are waltz-like.

I once wrote a story about ballroom dancing, and one of the "students" — who also had her own dance studio across town — was trying to teach me the waltz. Fortunately, I have more "rhythm" with the computer keyboard than I did on the ballroom floor.

Contact: I can be reached at tgilli52@gmail.com or nc3022@yahoo.com. Also, my Twitter handle is EDITORatWORK.

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1 comment:

  1. Tom,

    As you might have guessed, I love to dance and I love to work with words. The analogy came easily and instantly when I first read your post on Ecademy.

    There are, of course, deeper implications for this dance/word analogy, however. As implied by the above-mentioned "tions", there are conventions and expectations for both.

    Nevertheless, when those "tions" are learned, understood, absorbed, practiced and integrated, the best (in my opinion) can begin to occur -- improvisation, "mixin' it up".

    Consequently, I think that if you thought of dancing as whirling 'cross your keyboard, you might just begin waltzing - in both places, as you've got your "keyboard waltz" down pat.
    (In addition, it might be a nice surprise for Holly.)

    Dance on...