Thursday, August 23, 2007

Word Smithing


One of my favorite topics, because as a writer, I'm clearly dependent upon them. We all are, whether we write or not, for the simple fact that words are our most basic tool for communication.

But how much have you thought about words? As a writer, I think about my word choices constantly, because I want to convey exactly the right emotion, or description, or mood, or POV... the list is endless with reasons why I take care with my word choices. Words add color and depth. Zing and emotion. With the right combination, word choice sets the scene, conveys inner thoughts and mood; raises goosebumps on a reader's arms, or envelopes a reader in a warm, fuzzy moment.

One category of words that I pay very close attention to is verbs. A weak choice can be less than scintillating. Passive, rather than active. Telling, rather than showing. Strong, vivid verbs will invigorate your story; drawing the reader in, making them feel like they're taking part of the action, smelling the scent on the air, feeling the intensity as the hero gazes at the heroine, experiencing the heart pounding sense of danger or spookiness.

Words are a writer's most essential tool. I love the effort in striving to use them to the best advantage of my stories. When it's right, it feels greats.

Here is a great resource for writers: Deanna Carlyle's *1000 Verbs to Write By*.

No comments: