I have a love affair with words, vocabulary, diction, and expressions. I have compiled a lengthy list of glorious examples I have encountered in my reading. There is great joy in discovering a novel turn of phrase. The best authors accomplish perfection by evoking thoughts, feelings, and atmosphere, almost effortlessly. Their brilliance shines by using, as Nancy says, le mot jeste.
I can spend a lot of time agonizing over a single word choice. Should I use “cold” or does “bitter” convey a meaning laced with harshness and resentment? Does the picture change if I select “crisp” instead? Can my reader smell an apple, recall a glorious autumn day, or see leaves changing color? Or perhaps “glacial” is more appropriate? If words make fiction blossom, do I want my rose to “smell,” or should it have an “aroma”? What about a “fragrance”?
The astute writer considers these nuances as their prose paints the desired picture. Every single word carries an image, flavor, or emotion. A single well-placed word can replace sentences and entire paragraphs filled with descriptions. I know because I have deleted them in my editing process.
How much consideration do you place on word choice?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer