Words I Wish I’d Written: Chess

Vimes had never got on with any game much more complex than darts. Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could’ve been a republic in a dozen moves.— Terry Pratchett, Thud!Sam Vimes is the commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch; he comes from a long line of "coppers", an … [Read more...]

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Words I Wish I’d Written: Misery

Sergeant Colon was a picture of misery, drawn on a lumpy pavement in bad crayon on a wet day.— Terry Pratchett, The Fifth Elephant. Colon, a life-long sergeant, has just been informed that he's being promoted to acting captain. It will not Go Well, and fans of The Caine Mutiny will do well to keep an eye on the sugar cubes. … [Read more...]

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Words I Wish I’d Written: Evening Dress

It was definitely evening dress. You couldn’t get away with it in daylight.— Terry Pratchett, in The Fifth Elephant, describing Sergeant Detritus' idea of evening wear. The quote continues, "The troll looked like a wall with a bow tie." … [Read more...]

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Words I Wish I’d Written: On Facial Hair

The baron sat down. He was a large, red-faced man, insofar as a face could be seen under the beard, hair, mustache and eyebrows which were engaged in a bitter four-way war over the remaining areas of bare skin.— Terry Pratchett, The Fifth Elephant. In his defense, the baron is a werewolf; it comes with the territory. … [Read more...]

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Words I Wish I’d Written: Summer is a Creature

And summer isn’t a time. It’s a place as well. Summer is a moving creature and likes to go south for the winter.— Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay … [Read more...]

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Words I Wish I’d Written: Zeal and Resolve

Carrot stared straight ahead of him with the glistening air of one busting with duty and efficiency and an absolute resolve to duck and dodge any direct questions put to him.— Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms … [Read more...]

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Words I Wish I’d Written: Red Tsunami

He looked up at the duchess, towering over him now like a red tsunami over a small fishing village.— Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters … [Read more...]

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Word I Wish I’d Written: Self-Confidence

As she plunged down toward the forest roof in a long shallow dive she reflected that there was possibly something complimentary in the way Granny Weatherwax resolutely refused to consider other people’s problems. It implied that, in her considerable opinion, they were quite capable of sorting them out by themselves. Some kind of Change spell was probably in order. Magrat concentrated. Well, that seemed to work. Nothing in the sight of mortal man had in fact changed. What Magrat had achieved was a … [Read more...]

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Words I Wish I’d Written: Droit de Seigneur

The duke often mused on his good luck in marrying her. If it wasn’t for the engine of her ambition he’d be just another local lord, with nothing much to do but hunt, drink and exercise his droit de seigneur.*____ * Whatever that was. He’d never found anyone prepared to explain it to him. But it was definitely something a feudal lord ought to have and, he was pretty sure, it needed regular exercise. He imagined it was some kind of large hairy dog. He was definitely going to get one, and damn … [Read more...]

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