Short Story Look In — Those Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas (1973) — Ursula Le Guin
Synopsis: A narrator describes a summer party in the utopian town of Omelas, the beauty and perfection of the citizens and the terrible price a young child pays for their splendour.
Story Home: The Unreal and The Real
She is the author of 23 novels, 12 volumes of short stories, 11 volumes of poetry, 13 children’s books, five essay collections, and four works of translation — someone to learn from.
I’ve recently had the joy of picking up her book ‘Steering The Craft’, which has an incredible selection of writing tools — language, grammar, voice, tense and all the things missing from the non-traditional route through storytelling.
I’ve also just found this exciting Podcast — Crafting With Ursula, where writers explore the advice on writing that Ursula gave.
Crafting with Ursula Archives - Tin House
About The Podcast , a literary radio show and podcast hosted by David Naimon, is brought to you by Tin House. These…
Below are my three favourite takeaways
1 — Language
If you’ve read Steering The Craft, you’ll see Ursula as a poet and language guru. If you haven’t read it, you should. As you would expect from this author, the language of this story is impeccable — each sentence crafted to take you gently on to the next and delicately into the world that she describes.
With a clamor of bells that set the swallows soaring, the Festival of Summer came to the city of Omelas, bright-towered by the sea.
The story’s opening sentence uses sound, movement and anticipation to bring the feel of the festival straight to the reader — ‘set the swallows soaring’ itself has the sound repetition at the beginning of each letter — giving the language a rhythm.
In Steering the Craft, she has a section on sentences –
Think of it like this: there’s one best way for the parts of a sentence to git together…