The Right Word

Ingrid's Notes

Mark Twain Quote Mark Twain famously once said “the difference between the right word and the almost right word is really a large matter – it is the difference between the lightning and the lightning bug.”

As writers it’s important to know that we’re more than storytellers, we are wordsmiths! Every word we type has potential to do more than convey character and plot. Our words can also deepen the mood and emotional resonance in our novels.

Ilsa J. Bick is a master of this technique. In her apocalyptic zombie novel, Ashes, Bick intensifies each page with the danger of her world through the use of aggressive words. In the following examples Bick uses the violent words of: slash, spear, and pierced, to describe otherwise peaceful images.

ashes_sales-1“She registered the slash of morning sun in an already too-bright and very cold room…” (301).

“She heard the creak of Tom’s footsteps overhead, and a 

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I've been working hard on my novel, Arc and rewriting it from a different point of view. Have you ever done that? Hammered out tens of thousands of words and then had the forehead slapping realization that the wrong person is telling this particular story? Yeah. It sucks. But better stuff comes after the weeds... Continue Reading →

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