“Looking for language that’s more than words”
July 09, 2015
That's what a character in a new book on speechwriting wants from his speechwriter.
Former Mark Sanford speechwriter Barton Swaim’s fictionalized memoir The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics is out, and there’s a thoughtful (and positive) review in The Washington Times by former White House speechwriter John R. Coyne.
The money quote comes from a moment in Swaim’s book, when the South Carolina governor was complaining about the difficulty of getting what he wanted from a speechwriter:
“I’m always looking for language that’s more than words,” Sanford’s character tells Swaim’s. “It’s conceptual. It’s real. I always find myself trying to communicate something—larger . I know that sounds weird . It’s just—I feel there’s something bigger than what I’m able to communicate in words. That’s what I’m after.”