If you don't know it yet, I'll tell you right now. Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favourite authors in the world. She's so imaginative, and she just loves to play with words. When you read one of her books, you can generally tell it's written by her just by the way she uses words. No one else employs word usage quite the same way she does.
When I find a book by her that I have not yet read, I feel amazingly blessed that I have a chance to savour her style again. Whenever she writes, her stories are from a perspective that is entirely fresh and new. Here's an example from one of her books that I was reading a book by her the other day. This book is called "The Eight Days of Luke," and I have to say she shocked me, as she always does, with a versatility of her brain.
In this story, she introduces the main character, David, in once sentence: "Unlike most boys, David dreaded the holidays." That about sums him up. David is unlike most boys, he hates the holidays. Why? Already, you're curious and drawn into the story. Later, she describes how David has decided that smell is more important to the human race than anyone believes, and when he steps into the house it smells "thick and dampish, of polish and old cabbage." At the smell, she writes that David's heart, obstinately cheerful, goes down "about seven notches with a rush." You can just visualize that feeling. It's amazing.
I love to study the way she writes. Look at this sentence: "He got up and stalked upstairs, feeling for the wall as if he thought it might escape him unless he kept in touch with it. His bedroom door did escape him." Isn't that imagery vivid? Look here: "He picked up the skull and knocked an onion ring out of its eye socket." Brilliant! I'd never have thought of that line! Last, one of my favourite lines ever: "Christopher discovered that you dealt with obnoxious masters and most older boys the way you dealt with governesses: you quite politely told them the truth in the way they wanted to hear it, so that they thought they had won and left you in peace."
So, after reading many, many, many of her books, I've discovered that I'm endeavouring to come up with new, fresh ways to say things that will make people think, "Wow, that totally hit the picture!"
Which authors do you read over and over again, just so you can study how they DO it?