THURSDAY WRITING TIP: Bruce Springsteen Lyrics

Posted: October 7, 2010 in Wednesday's Writing Tip

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To order a Duffy book, click on one of the covers to the left.

“A barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a Dodge drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain…”

I was walking the dogs in the cold autumn rain this morning and this line automatically ran through my head.

It dawned on me how often this line goes through me. Every time I return to being 18, out of school for the summer and longing for a girlfriend.

Why this line? There are others that come to me from time to time but this one does a lot.

I think it’s because it’s the specificity of the words.

The girl is “barefoot”, the beer is “warm”, the car is a Dodge and the summer rain is “soft.” Thre aren’t too many adjectives nor are the adjectives complicated or flowery. They’re simple. They’re true.

Maybe that’s it. They’re true. They’re authentic, they’re immediate.

Maybe Bruce Springsteen had summers like the rest of us. His sales would suggest that he did.

His writing seems so ridiculously simple.

Maybe that’s it.

  1. tybes says:

    I’m no writer, but I think you’re dead on. Take those adjectives out of Bruce’s line and you’d have a boring sentence. Right now I’m reading The Godfather and the book is long but it flows because in my opinion the author has just the right amount of descriptions placed in the right places. He doesn’t go overboard with complicated language. Even though I’ve seen the movie a dozen times, I still can’t wait to turn the page, and that’s a credit to the writing. I just finished a historical book and it wasn’t descriptive enough. It was just the facts pretending to be a story. It was like reading a school text book. I’ve read other historical books and good authors can do wonders to make the reading enjoyable, without distorting the facts. But I digress with unneccesary verbiage!

  2. tjs9261 says:

    Kinda figured you’d agree…

  3. D. B. Dean says:

    Been playing with mark twains voice lately – trying to say much with few words. Some perceive it as simple and child like – others as very deep

  4. Pasquale Palumbo says:

    No one did simple language better than Hemingway. So many successful authors cite him as a tremendous influence. He is my literary master.

  5. Caren says:

    I agree. So much of what I read these days is way too complicated. What touches us is the things we can relate to, not the artsy fartsy flowery language only someone with a PhD can understand.

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