Mar 15, 2012

Ides of March

By Susan G. Haws

How could I resist? Here it is March 15 and Shakespeare immortalized this date with his famous warning to Julius Caesar: "Beware the Ides of March." Sure Caesar died on March 15 in 44 BC but I doubt I would remember the date if Shakespeare hadn't worded the soothsayer's warning in those simple words.

When I searched Google for that phrase there were 747,000 results. The phrase is now a  proverb, with a touch of superstition. Prominent world leaders, more relevant to us and far more recent, have also been assassinated (Pres. Lincoln and Pres. Kennedy). I can't  think of any phrases associated with those tragedies.

Add campaigns seek word bites that are memorable to promote their products. Movies and books sometimes have phrases that live beyond their stories. Whether an individual phase becomes a phenomenon or not every word counts in building the world of a book.

I get sucked into a novel and feel that the characters and their world are as real as my own all because of word choice. I may go back and re-read  a book or a scene to try to analyze what sort of words the author used and how he/she combined them to make a sentence, character, scene or book so memorable. I don't figure to match the genius of my favorite writers or come up with timeless phrases like: " Et tu, Brute?"  I hope to improve my own writing a bit at a time by noticing word choice in novels I enjoy.

I learn so much from  going to conferences,  listening to interviews with authors at sites like: Farland's Authors' AdvisoryWordplay Podcast and Blog Talk Radio/ iWrite  Network  as well as reading writing tip books, magazines, and web sites. I learn so much from the ANWA Yahoo groups and especially attending my ANWA chapter. These are ways I am learning to from all the writers sharing their skills.

I hope the Ides of March break with tradition this year and bring you only good things so that you will be ready to celebrate St. Paddy's day this weekend.


  1. Hmmm never bad nor good. But isn't great that we can just run with an idea like we never could before and share it with others. Thx.

  2. Our first grandchild was born March 17th. Fun day!

    Thanks for the links to those great sites...and for the thought provoking post! hugs~

  3. Terri, my mind definitely runs and often in convoluted paths.

    Kari, Hope you have lots of fun with the grandchild. I love being lead to great sites so am glad I could share some.


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