Tuesday, June 11, 2013

K is for Kangaroo? Karma? Kudos?

I volunteered to write this blog and said 'give me any letter and I'll figure out something to write'. So I was presented with K.

And my mind went totally blank! I couldn't even think of any words beginning with K, well, except for kangaroo, which didn't help much, never mind an actual title for a topic regarding writing. So I reached for the dictionary for inspiration.

Kaleidoscope had potential, every written piece, fact or fiction, long or short, needs to combine a kaleidoscope of information, characters, locations... and pull it all together into a cohesive and pleasing whole.
 
File:View of a kaleidoscope.JPG
A bit more flicking through and I came up with “karma”, now as an atheist I don't believe the universe has any scales balancing someone's morality but I do think that in the context of a story there needs to be some. The 'bad guy' needs to get some comeuppance and the good, hardworking characters get rewarded. Readers can be left feeling cheated and that the story is unresolved if this does not happen; fiction has to be neater than life.

A couple of pages further on in the dictionary and I came to “keep”. Instantly the saying, overly-familiar, “Keep calm and carry on!” sprang to mind.  The origin of the saying was a British propaganda poster in 1939, popularised in the early 2000s. But does anyone actually benefit from being told this? Doesn't receiving this advice just make people a lot less calm? In fact the original campaign was not a success (well, according to wikipedia). But could I string out an entire post about this poster?

Going deeper into the K section of the dictionary and I stumble across “kindle”, my dictionary is a few years old (Chambers, 1994 edition) so it doesn't mention the e-reader, and I am not sure if, as a name of a specific product, it would be included, though I do know a few people who refer to any and all e-readers as Kindles. So there are two trains of thought I could take with this; how the electronic publication changes writing and how writers perceive themselves, or how language is constantly evolving with new words being coined and others dropped from usage.
 
The last word I considered using was “kudos” - credit, fame, renown, prestige. Why do we write? Is it for any of the aforementioned? I have recently had a few travel articles published in a local magazine and there is a thrill in seeing my name and words in print. I have to admit that with my novel that I am writing I have visualised where it would fit on a bookshop shelf and how that would feel to see my work in print.

So many words and topics to chose from, but I have used all my word count talking about which word I was going to use. So this blog entry is all about the journey and not the destination.
 
Esther Haydock

2 comments:

  1. Lots of lovely topics covered with 'K'- thank you Esther! You chose an interesting buch of 'k' words.

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  2. Some good ideas in there, I particularly like the image of a novel as a kaleidoscope.

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