Igneous – definition: formed from fire; especially said of rock formed from fiery magma
Now it might seem that this is a tenuous link to Tracey’s post on blog planning but bear with me. Our ideas for stories and blog subjects are igneous. In that, a spark of an idea spurts forth and becomes its own entity, growing in width and breadth. To engage our readers we need to ignite their curiosity and interest in our words.
My current blog mission, utilizing a desk diary word of the day for the duration of 2013, requires a great deal of thinking and commitment. However, having made such a obligation I have found it has certainly caught my imagination and stretched my writing muscles. Not a bad thing for a writer – wouldn’t you say?
Although I try hard to write a couple of posts ahead of time, sometimes the idea does not fire up immediately and then I have to dig deep. Tracey’s post on her planning strategy gave me some ideas even though I do not use Scrivener.
Dilettante – definition: 1) an admirer or lover of the arts 2) a person who has a shallow interest in an art or area of knowledge.
Now I know that ‘English’ is a complicated language and it’s use around the world has altered it drastically but how can the same word mean completely opposing views? I could describe someone as a dilettante meaning the first version and get sort shrift from them thinking I am being spiteful. Thus I began searching out more antagonyms.
Impregnable – able to be impregnated or incapable of being entered.
Weather -to endure or to erode.
Buckle- to hold together or collapse.
Fast – move rapidly or fix in position or starve.
Bound – to travel to or unable to move.
This creates a predicament for the writer. How to use the word and ensure the correct meaning is realized by the reader. We don’t want to expound too much as that negates using the word in the first place but some hint as to the specified meaning is required. As writers we play with words and this is an example of how we can excel at our art. Using the location or company of our character can be a good way of ensuring the correct meaning is known or how the dilettante actually responds to the circumstances.
My morning was certainly not humdrum. I had to take my daughter for surgery so we were out of the house by 5.15 am – good grief! Everything went really well and now she is home and comfy with a doting mother. I will file away the experience it may help with a story sometime.
When an idea for a story strikes we struggle to keep up with the twists and turns our mind creates. We write or type furiously so we can capture it all. This first draft is primarily getting the words onto the page and character development, word usage, grammar, even spelling often go by the wayside. It is when we start revising that we notice particular words repeating, mediocre descriptions and continuity errors. It might be a humdrum start but the foundation of the story has been built. Now we can begin to embellish and elaborate, delete repetitive words, hone our characters personalities and create tension. Enticing our reader onto the next page is key for any novel.
To ensure our writing isn’t humdrum there are ways to strengthen our work. Here are a few tips, but by no means an exhaustive list.
1. Use adjectives and adverbs sparingly. 2. Avoid repeating a word in the same sentence and especially if the word has a ‘double’ meaning. 3. Try to omit words such as ‘go’, ‘went’, ‘that’, ‘very’ – most sentences do not require them! 4. Avoid clichés.
The best way to ensure your writing is clear, concise and enthralling is to expand your vocabulary. Word games, actively learning new words, and using a dictionary and thesaurus are all effective ways to accomplish this.
We all have words that we over use, mostly unconsciously but once we begin revisions they are revealed – well hopefully. I have found some internet sites that you can paste a section of your work into and it will highlight them. This is a useful exercise for any writer.
I was given a neat ‘a word a day’ desk calendar for Christmas so will try to share it with you each day. Here’s hoping this lasts with all my other projects for this year!
inchoate (adjective) in-koh-it
Definition: 1. to be in an initial or early stage; just begun. 2. imperfectly formed or formulated
Such an apt word for the start of our New Year, where resolutions, goals and aspirations are foremost in our minds. We hope for many things for ourselves and our loved ones at this time of year but what puzzles me is why this hope does not continue throughout the year? Maybe we should make each month a beginning instead of laying all our aspirations into January?
Make a goal for each month instead, that way we know we can achieve at least twelve goals! I would love you to share your ‘goals’ – it will be fun to compare.