The Best of the Thinking Quill – Sophistication

Bonjour mes petites,

C’est moi. Polymath. Polyglot. Polly Parrot (oops tiny family joke slipped in unannounced).  But one digresses. One is, bien sur, your favourite tutor and all round good egg. Superlative author, raconteur sans pareil, and most recently philosopher and photographer. For those of insufficient erudition to have grasped the simplest of themes one will reiterate. One is Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV, author of that seminal work of sprawling imagination ‘Fatswhistle and Buchtooh’. Known to one’s chums as IVy, to one’s confused and emotional parent as Moons, to one’s special friend Stavros as Kolos, and to yourselves as Magister, one is a kindly and tolerant soul and one who, moreover, voluntarily wastes one’s precious time attempting to impart at least the vaguest smidgin of knowledge into your dense and unintelligent noddles.

I was shocked into realising I had failed in my primary pedagogic duty, when I discovered Mummy had been reading my acute and suscinct grammar lessons online.

“You’re wasting your time with that ‘eye’ before ‘ee’ crap, Moons,” she slurred. “It don’t matter how perfect their prepositions and pronouns if they come out sounding like a bunch of ignorant prats because they’ve been reading your poop about stuffing sentences with pointless words. If they can’t sound sophisticated what’s the effing point? You’re trying to make them writers not bloody editors.”

I had to concede she had a point. So I shall digress from the strictness of grammar for one week to make amends. After all how can you, my dear disciples, write well if you have no idea of sophistication? Thusly I say unto you do listen with care, as this semaine one attempts to cure your little literary efforts of the inevitable rusticities engendered by your own lack of social polish.

How to Write Right – Lesson 8. The Write Touch of Sophistication

Whatever you write, from the turgidity of literary fiction, through to the popularised genres of ‘romance’ and ‘adventure’, there is very little that cannot be improved by the seasoning of sophistication.

You look puzzled my dear little hayseeds, allow one to elucidate. Call to mind if you will the seminal spy, psychopath, and lady killer, Mr James Bond. Ask yourself, if your grey matter can be brought to such an unusual exercise, whether there would have been such interest in a man who wore a flat cap, drove a Ford Focus, and drunk pints of mild and bitter. One thinks not…

A hero of suave sophistication is the essential leavening in the mix, lightening the doughy drabness of your prose and lifting it to coruscatingly crusty charm.

So, does one here you muse, how should one introduce such an aura?

There are, mes enfants, two possible avenues. One is that you, the author, are possessed of such ineffably suave sophistication that it imbues your writing without any effort on your part. However, looking at the shiny and occasionally snot-stained faces that surround one, this seems excessively unlikely. Which only leaves. The Rules.

  1. Your hero NEVER wears an item of clothing that has not been bespoke tailored at enormous expense.
  2. Your hero NEVER drives a conveyance that can commonly be purchased on the open market.
  3. Your hero drinks only Russian Imperial Vodka, or vintage champagne, or cocktails of the sort not given witty nomenclature in Magaluf
  4. Your hero NEVER eats in a burger bar. Nowhere without a Michelin star.
  5. Your hero NEVER goes to the local pub. He will belong to a gentleman’s club.
  6. Your hero NEVER attends an association football match. Rugger is just allowable.
  7. Your hero NEVER eats fish and chips, cheese and pickle sandwiches, crisps, pork scratchings, pickled onions, or anything ‘southern fried’
  8. Your hero is unmarried, wealthy, and has a devoted housekeeper
  9. Your hero is a stranger to the tenderer emotions
  10. And finally. Your hero is a crackshot, expert skier, fast driver, and player of games of skill and chance.

Follow these rules my little country dumplings and your work will accrue that sophistication you so desperately need.

For now, attempt to learn the rules and apply them rigorously. For oneself moussaka and retsina call.

αντιο σας

Moonbeam Farquhar Metheringham IV

You can find more of IVy’s profound thoughts in How To Start Writing A Book courtesy of E.M. Swift-Hook and Jane Jago.

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