Over the past few years I’ve studied a handful of experienced writers: Nicholas Sparks, John Grisham, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Washington Irving, Zora Neale Hurston and Laura Ingalls Wilder. My area of focus was pros particularly their exceptionally creative prose. To me, prose demonstrates the strength of the author to effectively bring forth their imagination into narrative. One of my favorites is Washington Irving’s way of describing the coming of autumn in New York State with the following from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: “The small birds were taking their farewell banquets.” This is beautifully and creatively written and you can actually picture it in your head. Here’s a great line from Wilder’s “The Long Winter” that really depicts what the families in that community endured during that historically severe winter of 1880-1881 in South Dakota: “The cold and the dark had come again. The nails in the roof were white with frost, the windowpanes were gray. Scraping a peephole only showed the blank, whirling whiteness against the other side of the glass. The stout house quivered and shook; the wind roared and howled.” Nicholas Sparks produced a great imagery in this particular line from The Lucky One: “A few magnolias were scattered here and there and made the sidewalks swell beneath their building roots.” I can totally picture this sidewalk which helps me relate to better to the story being told via Sparks’s effective imagery. And last, my favorite first line of all: “Marley was dead, to begin with.” – Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol. What a striking way to begin a story! I love it! These great authors have all inspired me to do one thing: Discover my Creative Self. I’ll be blogging more about ways to find inspiration in your every day encounters and events and how to bring those inspirations to life in the form of prose.