Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Busy Butterflies

As I write my 1,000-page sprawling fantasy epic (I'm on page 143 and nothing has happened yet, so I think I'm doing it right) I continue to look for inspiration in this other 1,000-page sprawling fantasy epic. That guy can really stretch a figure of speech over several pages. Of one character, it is said, "Butterflies the size of hedgehogs frolicked in her stomach." That deserves one of these: (!). Then, two pages later, "The butterflies in her belly were beating kettle drums, now." Four pages after that: "The butterflies were still gamboling in her stomach." Anyway, it seems like those butterflies were having a great time. I have to say I cannot imagine butterflies the size of hedgehogs frolicking. It seems to me they would be depressed and lethargic. I hope I do not sound too harshly critical of the author, who as I have mentioned was a very nice man and highly successful at his profession and beloved by his fans. Plus I am not sure if the kick I am getting out of his book is despite or because of the way it's written. I am reminded of when I saw this dialogue tag in Mickey Spillane: "I said observingly." I sort of thought that was the worst adverb I had ever run across. Wouldn't "I observed" be a lot better? And "I said" even better than that? Yeah, but Mickey Spillane used to sell almost as well as the Bible. So shut up, Pendarvis.