“His arm hung at an impossible angle.”
“They fell for an impossibly long time.”
“She made an impossible leap.”
It’s a pet hate of mine (and the above are just examples that may, or may not exist) but when it comes to writing, if something is impossible, then it can’t happen. And if it can’t happen you can’t say that it just occurred.
Yes, your limbs might be jutting out at unnatural angles after hitting the ground from a large height. But the fall can’t have been impossibly long, and the angles impossible. Using the word ‘impossible’ as an adjective is lazy.
The only time you can really get away way with using it is in dialogue.
“You’ll never make that jump. It’s impossible!”
“Just watch me.” He said, his square jaw radiating manly manliness.
She watched in horror as Biff leapt into the air, before disappearing from sight. She heard his scream grow quieter as he fell fifty storeys. She didn’t hear him hit the ground, but when she looked over the edge she could just make out his broken body, his arms and legs twisted at painfully unnatural angles.
“I… think I’m okay!” He yelled. “Just winded….”
Okay, surviving that would be impossible for most people, but obviously not for Biff, the manly man of manliness himself.
Oh, and about that quote that’s going around social media apparently by AudreyHepburn (it’s possible, but I’m not interested enough to check it out) that says: “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible‘!”
What a load of tosh. Don’t believe me? Try saying that quote while gargling with lava on the surface of the sun….
Until then, don’t forget, ‘Lament for the Living’ is out on May 10th – get a sneak peek at the first chapter for FREE!
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