How to Build a Perfect Bouquet of Words


Photo courtesy of Sophiea

This a guest post by Sean Platt of Writer Dad

 

I love flowers.  They feed the soul like little else, stirring several of our senses in a single second.  Language is landscape, filling the white space of an empty page; our ideas seeds we plant, our words the blossoms in spring time.

I worked in a flower shop for a dozen years, back in the first few chapters of my adult autobiography.  Then, I arranged flowers into the perfect bouquet; peeling petals, laying layers, and designing displays to halt the heartbeat.  Now, I do this with words.

I was young when I first nudged my heels into the shoes of lead designer, eighteen in fact.  Circumstance set me there when everyone ahead of me left at the same time.  I had no experience, but I was hungry, and had an innate belief in myself. Without training, I could only move my hands according to instinct, bringing each bloom into brighter focus.  I ignored the rule book and followed only intuition.  Within two years, our shop was booked solid for wedding season; a first in the store’s twenty year history.

Flower design is about color and texture, married in immaculate measure.  This is not too different from drafting with words. Each of us sees the world through a different lens, crafted from our own million moments.  Individual interpretation dictates our design. As we all see color just a little different, so we hear the hues of language.  The way in which we string our syllables is our art to share; no two thoughts the same.

I am thankful I never sat for a class in flower design.  I would have spent countless hours in study of all the things that I should never do.  Instead, I discovered that there are no limits.  Again, I would argue that writing is no different.

Each of us has what it takes to be a better writer.  It is already inside us, waiting for its salutation. For some, this means discarding the rules that the gatekeepers have handed down, and listening to the quiet whisper of our instinct.  Only we know how we view the world, and it is us who best understand how to make our thoughts sing with all our soul.

I’ve been writing now for thirteen months; each day my words arranged a little neater.  Whether we are penning our next posts, or working on our novels, it is us who can tie the bow around the bouquet.  Let’s close our eyes and forget what we think we know.  We do not think of the book of love when we whisper to our lover.

When we speak through our heart, as our fingers dance across the keyboard or glide across the page, then we can make every post as pretty as a bouquet, each word placed as perfect as a posy.

If you would like to read more by Sean Platt, please head to Writer Dad.

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25 thoughts on “How to Build a Perfect Bouquet of Words”

  • The best part about writing (bouquet) is that there is no one way of doing it right. With the same set of tools, you can come up totally different and yet beautiful creations.

  • Beautifully written, thank you.

    Regards,

    Martha

  • Thanks for a lovely post, Sean! I agree with Avani-Metha -there is no way of doing it right. One thing, though: bouquets look best when the flowers seem to have found their place naturally. I mean, if it’s too artificial it takes away some of the natural beauty.

    What I’m getting at is that I’m trying to bunch my words together more naturally these days.

  • Writer Dad says:

    Avani-Mehta: Words are like musical notes. Finite in number, infinite in possibility.

    Martha Sperry: My absolute pleasure.

    Mary Jaksch: Thanks so much for the opportunity. This was a really fun post. You’re absolutely right about flowers. The more contrived, the dimmer the beauty. Words, like nature, should flow with grace and almost accidental precision.

  • Justin says:

    I like the school of “If you want to write well: read!” Vocabulary, style, class, beauty, clarity, metaphor, etc., etc., all come from a diligent habit of enjoying words. (Which is one reason I like this blog. I enjoy the words.)

    Every time I think about getting an MFA I need this sort of reminder.

  • Alex Charchar says:

    a beautifully written piece that brought a smile to my face and made my afternoon. Thank you for this :)

  • Well written. Very flowing. Good comparison. Makes me want to write. And to never ever again consider going back to school for a writing degree.

  • “No one qualification is so likely to make a good writer as the power of rejecting his own thoughts.” – Alexander Pope

  • Eric Hamm says:

    Sean, a sign of a good writer is when their writing causes others to want to write and to excel at the art. Every time you layout your bouquet of words you inspire your readers to want to do the same. This is truly a sign of talent.

    Thanks for encouraging us with your words and reminding us that it is what’s in our hearts that will light up the pages.

  • Writer Dad says:

    Justin: Exactly. No class turned me into a writer, only thousands of books and a desire to share.

    Alex: I’m glad you enjoyed it. It was my absolute pleasure.

    Oktober Five: Don’t go for the degree Oktober. You already have everything you need.

    Eugene: Fantastic quote.

    Eric:: Wow, Eric. I’m impressed. Really, really impressed. I don’t know if it’s because you knew I worked in a flower shop, or because you recognized my style, but bravo. And thank you.

  • It’s been a busy day, but as I I settle in to check my mail, I found this post. It is just what I need to calm my mind, which is still in “rushing around” mode.

    Your analogy evokes the frangrance of a captivating bouquet and as I ease into my writing, it follows me and lingers as I craft my own bouquet of words.

    Thank you so much for this lovely and refreshing post.

  • Jim Bessey says:

    Sean, what a perfect real-world analogy.

    It may well be true that we choose our favorite authors more because of the singular way they arrange their prose — rather than the simple appeal of plot, setting, or character. For me, there are certain writers whose words simply flow off the page and into my mind effortlessly.

    There’s an old quote from somewhere along these lines:

    “Good writing can be taught. Great writing cannot.” No one could have taught you exactly how to make those amazing bouquets. You just “knew.” Thanks for a thoughtful essay, Sean.

  • Jessie says:

    I’ve gained confidence from your article.
    Thank you.

  • Writer Dad says:

    Cheryl: My pleasure. Flowers and words, both food for our soul.

    Jim Bessey: No doubt about it. There is a small handful of authors whose prose I could pull from a lineup. These are my favorites. I agree with that quote, about any art. I could learn to draw, but I could never be great. I simply don’t feel it. But I do feel language, so I listen to my instinct.

    Jessie: My absolute pleasure.

  • Crafted with care, gentleness and kindness. A beautiful article.

    Thank you Sean for sharing words from your soul.

    David

  • That was very well written. I agree that putting together the right words is very much an art, and comes with practice. You certainly seem to have mastered this arrangement, Sean.

  • Patricia says:

    Thank you so much, I was just given a bouquet of roses that are the strangest colour and gathering that I feel they are here to make me think again about what they “should” look like and if they can still bring me joy.

    Your words are beautiful and well placed – your skill and talent are evident and inspiring. A lovely study to behold.

    Good luck on your writing marathon – may the force be with you! You can work on the design and placement when you edit. :)

  • Sal says:

    You know, as soon as I read the title of this post in my reader, I figured it was yet another guest post by Writer Dad. Again, fantastic! Besides, most millionaires or poeple who are the best at what they do, didn’t go to school for it. If asked, they say that school put too many restrictions on them and made their thoughts and work the same as everyone else. I would have to agree and WD, I think you have proved that over the many months you have been gracing us with your words.

  • Fun post…

    I would argue, though, that good writing does follow certain principles. But beyond that, the skies the limit.

    I’m constantly striving to better my writing. I feel it’s definitely a process. And blogging is certainly its own craft requiring its own skills.

    One advantage a bouquet of flowers has over a beautiful piece of writing is that the flowers let of an intoxicating perfume; the writing does no such thing.

    That’s OK, though – P.I. is going to change all that.

  • Writer Dad says:

    David: You are quite welcome. Thank you for the compliment.

    Alex: I guess most art is all about placement, right? The right colors, textures, sounds, moments. It is the placement of words, however, which has endured for thousands of years.

    Patricia: Thanks. What color are the roses? They come in the most unusual colors now. One of our most popular used to be a rose called “Leonides.” It was a terra cotta color on the outside, and the color of a manilla envelope on the inside. Thanks for the well wishing on NaNoWriMo.

    Sal: Thanks, Sal. You’re the second commenter to pick up on the style. That is flattering. You are correct; I can’t think of a bigger purgatory than being the same as everybody else.

    Bamboo: Flowers wilt and fade away. Ideas are forever.

  • Grace says:

    I think why I like bouquets is that each flower stands on its own–they aren’t all mushed together. Good words, and good sentence structure are the same way. We instinctively know when we read skillful worthsmithing, just as we appreciate the beauty and grace of a master arranger of flowers! G.

  • Writer Dad says:

    Absolutely. The same can be said for noticing when something has been either overwritten or over arranged.

  • Stefan says:

    Well, I want to start with learning making a bouquet (writing) in English, and the words “each day my words arranged a little neater” gives me some motivation.
    Thank you!

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