A thought struck me while I was proofreading and spellchecking Book Baby 4 aka Ellen.
Now, this may be a thought that’s already struck you so apologies if I’m late to the party here.
Well, what struck me was what an incredible thing the alphabet is. You take twenty-six wee letters and by rearranging them into various combinations you get words, lots and lots of different words.
The word count for Book Baby 4 is around 106 000 give or take a couple of hundred (still tweaking!). That’s approximately 500 000 letters. That’s a lot of combinations of those wee letters of the alphabet.
And do you know what’s even more incredible? No? Well, that’s the first time that those 500 000 letters have been used in that specific combination, making Book Baby 4 unique.
“She’s lost it this time!” I hear you cry but pause for a moment and think about it. Think about all the great works of fiction, the classics, the award-winning novels, adult fiction, children’s stories….. I could go on but I’m sure you get the hint. Each and every one of them is a unique collection of those twenty-six wee letters combined to make words that are then strung together to make sentences.
Those sentences might be short and simple or long and complex containing may clauses but, at the end of the day, they are a combination of twenty-six wee letters combined to make words that allow authors to tell a story. How incredible is that?
Now, I am not for a second comparing my creative efforts to the literary greats but we all have one thing in common – we each started with a blank page/screen and had the same twenty-six wee letters to play with.
Using those twenty-six wee letters you can create scenes that invoke an emotional response in the person reading the resulting story. You can make people laugh. You can make people cry. You can make people angry. You can make people calm. You can make people happy. How powerful is that?
And, even more incredible, those same twenty-six wee letters can be used to create different languages used around the world. We use the Latin alphabet to write in English. That same alphabet forms the basis for around 6000 languages that use additional diacritics (those squiggles above and below certain letters) to enhance them.
And to think, each an every one of us from wee me to Shakespeare, to Emily Bronte, to JK Rowling (no, I’m not comparing my ability to theirs)started out the same way – learning how to hold the pen to write our own name.
(image sourced via Google – credits to the owner)