This thread is to collect up that intangible element of "good writing"--pro or fan, SW related or not. It's not so much for discussing the merits of "said" replacements or debating the great adverb question, and it's not for saying, "Isn't this a lovely thought?" Lots of lovely thoughts can be expressed in clunky prose or maudlin poetry (I've done much of both). It's for quoting very brief bits of text that you simply love as a writer. Maybe the sound of a sentence is beautiful, maybe it's a startling metaphoric image. Just things you love for no reason other than great use of language. So, the idea is to give a quote (no more than a sentence or two) that really has that "whammy" effect in terms of language, then try to say what it is about it that works for you. ---------- To start, Stephen King got me to go read T.S. Eliot's poetry just through one line: I will show you fear in a handful of dust. The line itself is so evocative--it's aggressive and intrusive... you can almost see cold eyes as this "invitation" is issued. And the dust. How is dust an element of fear? What is it fear of? You can think of swirling clouds of dust, of dust in an attic, of dust in a sunbeam. All of it is a symbol of something old, something left behind and left untended. It's decay and desertion. Dust is a haunt, dust is death, dust is the dissolution of form, both in its creation by slow decomposition and its coating effect that dulls corners and edges. Because of the power of that single line, I could feel fear in a handful of dust--a shapeless fear of inevitability and mortality. It's not the literality of the line that makes it work, it's the metaphor itself. Why is fear like dust? It's a startling, disturbing image, and it absolutely demands to be considered. Not bad for ten words, eh?