April 23, 2012

The Power of Words

I'm still learning how important word choice is as a writer. Ever struggle for the proper word? Use a word that fits, but know it isn't the one you're looking for? Maybe it's a word you overuse way too much?

I must have used the word "look" in my manuscript about a million times! It's the go-to word for, um, er, uh, "look." But there's also glance, eye, ogle, gaze, glimpse, leer, view, observe, watch, scrutinize, stare. You get the picture. Even after going through the thesaurus for "look" synonyms, "look" almost always seems like the best choice.  Because I haven't found the word that fits yet, or the right/best way to say it.

This video says it all: 

Q:  What did you do to my sign?
A:  I wrote the same, but different words.

I'm not plugging this company, have never used this company or ever had contact with them. They are online content specialists, but look what they can do with the words!

I know the talent to finding the perfect words for telling a story will come with experience. But it really is fun to change something up and find how much better it sounds. When that happens, I know why I love to write!

Do you ever struggle with finding the right word and how to say it? Any tricks of the trade that work for you? Please share with the rest of us!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yes, and I'm such a perfectionist that it slows my progress with the first draft because I have to have the right word.

Libby said...

My browser is always open to dictionary.com and thesaurus.com for that exact reason. :)

Lady Gwen said...

Alex, I used to be like that on the first draft but didn't get anything done. It was sort of a trade-off because now editing takes me 10 times as long while I'm looking for the "right" word and the "right" way to say it.

Libby, I'm always on thesaurus.com and it is helpful, but sometimes it just doesn't help me to say what I want to say!

Fairview said...

Yeah, I'm continually 'look'ing for replacements. If you use word you can right click on the word and it will bring up synonyms.

Lady Gwen said...

Fairview, I think my options on the right-click thesaurus are only successful about half the time. It reminds me that I am still responsible for coming up with my own words!