Sunday, September 8, 2019


As defined by (paraphrased), a wordsmith is "One with the ability to effortlessly string together words, no matter the meaning, in such a way it brings a smile, laughter, or admiration for such skill." That word "effortless" is a little problematic. It does take some thought to be concise, poetic, witty, snarky, or whatever the tone is. Depending on the balance of ingredients, you can have a wiseguy Greg Gutfeld or a rapier wit like Rod Serling. Wordsmithing livens up book reviews, satire, blogs, and opinion pieces, but doesn't work for informative offerings like product reviews (just the facts, ma'am).

As to methods, we first become aware of a playful narrative through unusual word pairings like "quixotic quorum". Who knows--that might refer to a board of elderly gents at a condo association meeting. It's a poetic device which, like its namesake, crams a lot in a small space; it's the opposite of wordiness, which begs for cuts and editing. Taking such liberties means knowing your subject well enough that fans don't see you as an outsider poking fun. Besides tone, you can emulate your favorites, though that works best for fan fiction.

A Little Fan Fiction

Alfred Hitchcock Good evening. As time is limited, I shall endeavor to rein in my runaway enthusiasm for the subject at hand. [Draws breath]. Good night.

Rod Serling Portrait of a writer who is here yet  not here, a fictional persona masquerading as his betters. . .in the Twilight Zone. [Cut me some slack, Rod.]

Duke Nukem So I ain't no Emily Post. Don't shoot up my ride, Clyde!

Greg Gutfeld Me trying to channel Jane Austen is like Chuckles the clown teaching Shakespeare!

Four different voices will have different takes on the same subject. Your own interest shines through with lively, off the wall presentation, even if it comes with a slight tradeoff: the writer is very much on stage, as opposed to his usual place kibbitzing behind the curtain. Did we mention it's fun?

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