Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Words as Weapons

by Lisa Hughey

Karate kicks, Knockout blows, Throwing stars, Blackjacks, Knives, Handguns, Rifles, Bombs, Dirty Bombs.... I’ve researched most of these “weapons” at one time or another for my work.

My characters have carried Ka-Bar combat knives, AK-101 compact assault rifles, and Beretta 92-G Italian pistols.

But those are just details. When it comes down to it--the weapons that inflict the most damage are words. And beneath the words, sub-text, unspoken words convey thoughts and feelings that layer every character’s black moment with tension and heartache. The more devastating the weapon, the more satisfying the happy ending.

Nearly kill a character with a bullet...eh, they’ll recover. But mortally wound them with words...and they, and the reader, won’t ever be the same.


ps-on a more important note: a huge thanks to all the men and women serving in the military around the world, you are not forgotten and always appreciated.


Sophie Littlefield said...

Lisa, it's those details that give your stories such richness (and also make me just a little bit scared :) Love it that such a nice pretty suburban mom knows all about shit that can kill a person from half a block away....

L.G.C. Smith said...

Sub-text as a weapon -- I love that. :)

Adrienne Miller said...

I'm with you, Lisa. A well timed insult can bring a man down as effectively as a bullet. It can also lead to the most effective character weapon of all, doubt. I love me some doubt.

Hard Boiled Mysti said...

I read somewhere that what women fear most is being killed, and what men fear most is being laughed at.

I think you are on to something here!

Rachael Herron said...

Words as weapons. Oh, yeah. I've got those, I just have to sharpen them. :)

Martha Flynn said...

Dammit I am no good with words so I am going to pretend this isn't true.

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