Choosing the right words in writing

word choice in writing

Originally posted on http://camerondjames.wordpress.com/

The words on the page should be unnoticeable.  It’s an interesting thing.  We want readers to love our words and be enthralled by our stories.  But if they are pulled out of the narrative because of an ill-timed word or a bit of a clumsy sentence, then that is very bad.  We want our words and sentences to blend into the background.  They should carry the reader along on this epic journey, but still be somewhat unnoticeable.

Word choice has to fit the genre.  For epic fantasy, obscure and historical words are fine and probably desirable (but probably not words derived from Greek and Roman mythology, as that wouldn’t fit the world you’ve created).  Medical and mystery books should be filled with technical description that would be out of place in most other writing.  Science fiction should have clean and smooth writing, sleek and futuristic.

Words are the tools of our craft.  Without them, we cannot create stories.  But they are not one-size-fits-all tools.  They are highly specialized and unique… intricate and delicate.  They must be used with care and precision.

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