Saturday, October 9, 2010

Changing Words in a Story

How many of us have read a book and every other word repeats itself. This is one of my pet peeves.
As a writer it can sometimes be intimidating to try and pull words out of the air to try and say what we mean. I have a very large dictonary. I use it all the time. My Computer also has a dictionary on it as well. Use it. Make your reader learn new words. Don't be afraid to use new words that you didn't know before. Take for instance cherry red lipstick. Anyone can say that sentence - but as a writer it is up to you to do more than that. You want your reader to see, taste, feel, smell,and yes even hear the cherry red lipstick.
Instead of saying she wore cherry red lipstick say, "I couldn't take my eyes from her mouth. Her lips were made even more full, by the lucious, blood red, lips. I wanted to taste them. I knew they would taste like the tart red of cherries ripe off the tree. My mouth watered, my eyes stared and I heard nothing but her voice as it purred through those lips."
This not only does away with the bland statement- it puts the reader in front of the woman. It makes the reader go through all of the senses.
Yes, it takes time but it is well worth the time. Stand out from the herd, put people in your stories.


  1. I just heard a panel of literary agents at a writers conference complain about too much description bogging down the narrative. If the description isn't needed by the story, pare it to the essentials.