Friday, July 22, 2011

WriT Day - I've got a secret...

I've got a secret...and for a writer it's a rather embarrassing one. I have a rather limited vocabulary. For as long as I can remember, I've struggled with words.

My family has always poked fun at my sister and I because we have a nasty tendency to make up words, which are usually just a combination of two words or a slight mispronunciation of an actual word. It used to be mortifying, but it has grown to be a tender jest at our awkwardness and it's even a little endearing.

It has, however, created problems for me as I've tackled my first novel and I'm sure it will continue to be a problem as I work on further projects. There are so many brilliant thoughts and emotions that can be captured on paper, if only you have the right words. Without them, a potentially great piece of writing will appear lack luster and simple when it could be breathtaking.

I long to create something that will blow the readers' mind. The perfect paragraph that he/she just HAS to go back and re-read because one exposure to it just wasn't enough. I've had moments like that as I've read. I've found myself thinking, 'Now that's great writing.' What makes it so great? The magnificent use of words.

I read a lot. I love books. I love the written word. So why don't I have a larger vocabulary? I have no idea. What I do know is this: If I keep reading my mind will be exposed to a plethora of words that can be at my disposal as I strive to create a masterpiece. And if I'm honest with myself, I've already found it easier to enlist the help of unfamiliar words in just the past seven months.

What has made it easier? The thesaurus. It is my best friend when I write. Or rather, it's more for when I edit. If I were to take the time to look up great words to use while I was writing I'd never get a book done, but it is a great tool to use when I'm trying to polish up a manuscript.

It is my hope that in a few years I won't need to keep the thesaurus open in a separate window whenever I'm editing. These words I love will hopefully become a part of me. Until then, the thesaurus is my friend, as I hope it will be friends to every aspiring author out there.

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