Hello, everybody! Although I’ve been writing for fifty years, I’m still nervous as I contribute for the first time to The Storyteller’s Inkpot. However, to paraphrase our MFAC theme of “Immerse Yourself,” here I go, immersing.
I’ve been on the Hamline faculty since January 2009 after speaking first as a guest writer in January of 2008. At that time I urged the audience to have “tight lines.”
In fishing language “tight lines” means to keep your fishing line taut, so that it is straight — not limp, no excess line floating about — in the water. This allows the fisherperson to be more sensitive to the fish’s nibble or jerk at the succulent bait on the hook and thus be more apt to catch it.
In the same way, a writer should have “tight lines,” so that each word is taut, exact, and succinct, yet offers the reader the most alluring bait — titillating scenes, appealing characters, strong plot, evocative sense of place, and tantalizing sensory details — to hook the reader’s interest, pull him/her into the heart of the manuscript, and land em, still mesmerized, at the end.
Tight lines!
Eleanora E. Tate, February 1, 2012