Thursday, April 28, 2011

When a Rose By Any Other Name Doesn't Smell as Sweet

Hey, out there in blogging land!
Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?

*If you’re a nighttime, old sitcoms TV watcher, you’ll understand. If not, why aren’t you?*

The above line brings me to today’s topic, Word Choice! Picture this...

You’re sitting in front of the computer. The only sound in the room is your fingers tapping away at the keyboard. Words are flowing freely. The muse is hot! You wander, sentences to paragraphs, paragraphs to scenes, scenes to chapters, and then... You hit the wall. One horrible rotten scandalous little word breaks your concentration and stops you cold.
Word Jumble
I’ve had this nightmare AND faced the reality. If you’re a writer, I’m certain you have too. You come across a word that just doesn’t fit and your great writing day turns into an innumerable amount of time staring at those evil letters.

Our word choices create the voice of the story, shape our characters, and drive the plot. What would cowboy movies be like if John Wayne never moseyed or sauntered? What if Arnold never uttered the phrase “I’ll be back”? What if Scarlett O’Hara said anything other than “I’ll think about it tomorrow”? Characters would lose their individuality and westerns would be destroyed.

So, even though it is painful, annoying, and sometimes infuriating, take the time to consider your word choices. And make it a swell scrumptious fitting choice!


  1. I love the strikethrough in the last sentence! Excellent example to conclude this (also excellent) entry :)

    I'd consider my word choice more carefully, by the way, but half my brain is turned toward the lunch I'm desperate to eat already!

  2. Great post, Tina! And that's so true. I wonder how much of my writing time is spent sifting through the thesaurus. Oh, and a REALLY great tool is the flip dictionary. If you don't have one, get one. It's very helpful in the word choice dept.

    BTW, I'm hopping by to let you know that I'm giving your blog an award tomorrow. So stop by mine if you get a chance so you can claim it. :)

  3. Thank you both for your comments! And Anita, I'm honored to be given this award! Thank you!