In olden times if you wanted your door hinge fixed or your wagon, or shoe your horse you went to the local blacksmith. The smithing art is as old as iron, and quite literally means to beat (smite) something of iron into shape. The Old English term was “smithing” or a “smith” and the word “black” or “blacky” came from the smoke-filled shops of wood- and coal-fired smelters used to heat the wrought iron. Our modern industrial age would never have happened without the smiths.
Taking a lump of iron and turning it into something useful or a work of art is not unlike taking an idea and writing a story. You just need to learn to be a word-smith and word-smithing is as old as writing in any language.
Unlike the blacksmith, writers use vocabulary and rearrange wording to turn a phrase from common into memorable. You must, by using the anvil of your mind-craft, smitten by the hammer of your collected knowledge, shape raw words, by the power of your imagination into unique and wondrous stories.
A writer is a storyteller. Now how that story is told is important, but the way it reads to the reader is how the story makes an impression in the reader’s mind. This is not over the back fence gossip, but then again if you shape your story well it could get people talking about it.
Some readers seem to be looking for a particular pace, stride or style of writing in what they read. The critics are out there and they are most welcome to offer their opinions on anything, and this is where word-smithing comes into play.
One word can stop the reader if they are what I would call a picky reader. I was once berated for using “hurdle” instead of “hurtle.” Hurdle means in one context difficulty, or thrown into. “Hurtle” means an obstacle, steeplechase or a particular type of foot race. The intent was to show that we are for the most part tossed into life unprepared; that is our first difficulty after birth. From then on we as humans do “HURDLE” ourselves, or others, into situations of difficulty from time to time; we have no control over other people’s actions, and the results of our actions at times.
Now “hurtles” as a race would mean you know what is expected of you and you run the race as best you can. In this case you have expectations and you as a racer know what is expected of you. Now if you misjudge and do not clear the “HURTLE” in a race involving “hurtles” you get “hurdled” to the ground, out of you control but not gravity’s.
As a writer of fiction (not news nor scholarly abstracts) I and you are creative writers, and if I want to go off on a tangent about this and that I use characters to do that, or I write mockingly satirical phrases. Well get over it. My stylishness, panache, ostentation, or chic is my writing flair. It’s my creativity, my word-smithing, editors be dammed. Now if I were to write a news article for a newspaper or magazine, sure there are rules for that type of writing, and I will follow them if I were to write, and I have for such endeavors.
So there you have it; creative writing is a different animal in the zoo of writing. Art of Writing is a sounding board and a tool for the artist-writer; not editorial comment.