Words in an emotional outburst, in a blog entry, in an angry political rant, in a Berlin Art Parasites post, in a THC article or even in the academic rambling we call a literature assignment. So what makes the language of a writer so different from regular vocabulary?
Do we specialise in over analysing and over complicating even everyday events or conversations? Do we turn a layman ‘morning coffee’ into a ‘brisk walk in the dappled sunshine of a day still drowsy with the dregs of last night’s adventures in search of liquid fire to quench the cravings of the soul’?
When a sky bridge alone can be interpreted as a link between heaven and earth, a representative of life between birth and death or even the relationship between two people, how often would we writers choose to use it only to describe a foot over the bridge?
Are concepts like love, birth, afterlife, universe, religion, depression expanded by the expansive vocabulary we use to define them or do we claim monopoly to define these because we can use an extensive vocabulary to do so? How do we manage to create concepts with our words yet feel like words no longer suffice to create defining boundaries for them?
How do words give birth to the very word essence yet fail to capture the true essence of any element? Do we writers end up only naming the superficial shells of the things around us and creating interconnected webs between them in an effort to capture their essence in our words? Or is this entire paragraph of words an over complication of our own thought processes?
It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway as who could ever call a writer a man/woman of few words?) that the coming of platforms for creative expressions such as Tumblr have only encouraged quirky, eccentric, unique interpretations of everything under the sun from a grumpy cat to a film and book franchises, and collective (seemingly over) analysis by a community or writers, readers and fan-girls/boys.
But another Internet/social media revolution contradicts this phenomenon; that of the terribly tiny or micro tales trending on various different sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr etc.
This refers to a writer writing a concise, impactful micro tale revolving around a given keyword within about 20-30 words. For example, if the keyword was ‘Nail polish’, a micro tale around it would be-
“He let her apply nail polish on his nails,
The way his wife wore it;
His journey as both her mother and father together was just beginning”
It is indeed a skill to fit into a compact packet of 140 characters a story that has the capability to move one or make one think beyond this concise frame, to use exactly the number of words required to deliver meaning, not a word more or less. It is a skill that is equivalent and directly contradictory to that of using a flowing vocabulary to deliver meaning.
Contemporary writers have either the option of specialising their style of delivering or getting out of their comfort zone and experimenting with the other style of writing.
A highly 21st Century contradiction, writer-speak itself is barely a united term, an umbrella language encompassing all the different kinds of ways and styles in which writers express their creativity.
One look at the internet shows us how far and wide has the writing realm changed and evolved – no longer pen and paper remains the sole form of writing, from the articles to the online write-ups. From paperback publishing to online platforms like Radish and Wattpad, as the world evolved, the art of writing evolves and so has the way of writers’ expressions.
They speak through their works, the scripts they write, the videos that go viral, the memes that more or less reflect the present mirror of the society. They articulate about the things that matter, reflections of their mind, the musings of their soul, they chat to and about their characters. They have their own quirks and styles of speaking and the remarkable thing to note is – people are still listening as they speak.