Inspiration at Yosemite — An “AH-Ha” Moment about Writing

Author, Carla D. Bass, at Yosemite National Park

Author Reveling in the Beauty of Yosemite National Park

I compose this blog for authors of fiction who spin tales of horror, humor, suspense, romance, and more,  enabling us to escape the concerns of our daily lives … for just a bit. For that – this nonfiction author thanks you!

Backdrop to this story: This year, I took my daughter and her newborn son to Yosemite, where we spent a fabulous week at the Evergreen Lodge near one of the entrances to the national park. Time with Sarah and Deacon, the majestic beauty of Yosemite, and hospitality of the Evergreen made this a never-to-be-forgotten vacation. It also gave us the luxury of time to read – a rarity to be sure.

I enjoyed a book by my favorite author, Daniel Silva, whose writing is so rich, the reader hangs on every word. Upon completion, I immediately read a book by another famous author of the same genre … and was stunned by the contrast in the quality of writing.

This second author wrote what I refer to as a “swimming pool book” … one in which the prose is so loose and sloppy, uninspiring and colloquial … the reader can skim a page, grasp 3 sentences and not miss a beat in the plot. It’s a low-risk book you can read while floating in a pool; if it falls in … no matter.

Lesson … “Write to Influence! “and my Word Sculpting tools apply to fiction. Making every word count — snagging and retaining the attention of the reader applies in this world, as well. See for yourself … First, examples from the other author:

  • “She looked at her watch, did the math in her head, and knew she had about thirty minutes to think about what she was going to do.”

  • “So how much longer are you going to be doing what you’re doing?” … “How long are you going to be doing what you’re doing?”

  • “The next moment the door opened and the number two man walked out through it. He closed the door behind him with the finality of a coffin lid closing.”

  • “He went back over the Eastern Shore scenario frame by frame in his head.”

  • “He had known that the agency would allow him to search her locker and take her things once they had assigned him to hunt her down. And the only reason they had allowed him access to her locker was because they had searched through the items and found nothing useful in them. So, she must have assumed that he would at some point gain access to the items and would examine them for a clue of some kind.”

Now, please enjoy these samplings from Daniel Silva’s book, “The Heist.” The last passage describes Venice. For those of you fortunate enough to have visited that magnificent city, this passage should awaken fond memories:

  • “He came waddling into the bar a few minutes later with all the discretion of a train whistle at midnight …He wore a blue power suit that fit his portly frame like a sausage casing …”

  • “Several dozen paintings, some in frames, some on their stretchers, leaned against the walls like folding chairs after a catered affair.”

  • “Gabriel quickly searched them with the thoroughness of a man who knew how to hide things.”

  • “He had soft pale hair and the guiltless face of a country parson.”

  • “The intercom, when pressed, howled like an inconsolable child.”

  • “Early the following morning, Venice lost yet another skirmish in its ancient war with the sea. The floodwaters carried marine creatures of every sort into the lobby of the Hotel Cipriani and inundated Harry’s Bar. Danish tourists went for a morning swim in the Piazza San Marco, tables and chairs from Café Florian bobbed against the steps of the basilica like debris from a sunken luxury liner. For once, the pigeons were nowhere to be found. Most wisely fled the submerged city in search of dry land.”