November 8, 2011

"You don't understand, I could have been somebody." The Power of One Liners

I love lines! Not, clothes lines, fishing lines or worry lines, but the lines that connect our brain to our heart. The lines that fall into place, letter by letter, word by word. Lines that can be read, spoken, or sung. What are some of your favourite one liners? Do you have a favourite quote or poem? Why does it appeal to you? 

See if you can guess the following movies:

"You don't understand, I could have been somebody, I could have been a contender."

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a dam!"

"You talkin to me?"

"What we've got here is failure to communicate."

"Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale of moonlight?"

"I am not an animal. I am a human being."

Now for Children's Books:

The more that your read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.

There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there, you'll be free if you truly wish to be. 

"Curiouser and curiouser!"

"Why is a raven like a writing desk?"

“Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't you think?”

It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?"

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”

“I'm right and you're wrong, I'm big and you're small, and there's nothing you can do about it.”

"But the peach ... ah, yes ... the peach was a soft, stealthy traveller, making no noise at all as it floated along. And several times during that long silent night ride high up over the middle of the ocean in the moonlight, James and his friends saw things that no one had ever seen before."

And Novels:

Not all who wander are lost.

Certain things should just stay as they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone.

Does the walker choose the path, or the path, the walker?

In the real world, as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems.

Life... loathe it or ignore it, you can't like it.

"Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy... but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."

Investigate your own writing. Can you write what you mean in fewer words? Don't worry you're not expected to write classic one liners like these beauties but it's interesting to look at each word (especially in picture books) to see if each letter, each word, and line is worth keeping or not.


DimbutNice said...

Gorgeous post Renee! With all the numerous permenations and trillions of words at our disposal out there, it would seem impossible that there is not a One Liner, or two or three, in us all.

Anonymous said...

That clip from On the Waterfront is one of my all time favourite movie scenes.

Unknown said...

Thanks Dim,
I'm a huge movie and music buff as well as a book lover. I didn't even get to songs- John Lennon's my favourite song writer.

Hi Michael,that scene is hard to top hey!