Saturday, May 30, 2009

Grammatical Erotica, Part III

To allure in prose, create original metaphors, as metaphor is to literal language what eroticism is to sex.

Literal language is naked, plain, stripped down, functional. Metaphorical language is nude: it's alluring, sensual, charged, electric--it's lovemaking as ecstatic union.

Metaphorical language is bliss: it's bringing together differences; it's uniting opposites; it's the tongues of lovers twisting and twirling together; it's arranging the shape and sound of words in unusual but smooth and alluring ways, a linguistic 69.

Plain language is routine, missionary. Metaphorical language is language at play.

Metaphor renders words unchaste, promiscuous. They lose their bond to an old relationship. They assume new meanings, new relationships, new associations.

Language has its rules of grammar and syntax. But the best writers become grammar breakers and dictionary defiers: they free words from their traditional meanings. So instead of telling someone "love is great," you write (as I steal from Katrina and the Waves), "Love is like walking on sunshine."

But if you want to write a story more complex than something found in most three minute pop songs, offer a more complex argument: "Love is not just like walking on sunshine; it can be like walking on broken glass [Annie Lennox]; or it can be a battlefield (Pat Benatar)….or a red, red, rose.

Finally, I must emphasize again: When it comes to the language of lovemaking, the best dirty talk is wordless. Forget style, grammar, etc...and just moan.

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