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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One thought on “The Right Word

  1. Wordsmith… Wordsmith; wordsmith.

    A Champion of Truth! A Shining Burst in the Flame of Life!

    I don’t know. Wordsmith makes me feel as if I’m some cunning artisan, trying to manipulate words to my will, and turn them into sleight of hand. It just feels so technical.

    I mean, it is. And it’s good. But, it’s only a part of it. What about the stories? What about being A Storyteller? A Bard? Maybe it’s all just imaginary romance, beyond the technicalities.

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