Monday, December 20, 2010

Every word counts

I was a chatterbox as a kid and my mother used to warn me:
Someday your mouth
will get you in trouble.
So I stopped talking so much and took up writing, thinking, "Ha! Now I can't get in trouble. I can fix the words with an eraser, a white typwriter ink removal strip, or a delete button."

But my mother was still right.

I am toast. Burnt. Dried out. No butter or jelly.

If you look up the word 'pathetic' there are two definitions:

1. causing or evoking pity, sympathetic sadness, sorrow, etc.

2. miserably or contemptibly inadequate.

And when I wrote about House as a compelling character a few months ago I used that word (in addition to many complimentary words) sort of comparing House to my hubby. I was thinking: brilliant, funny guy who helps people. Who also seems unhappy in a way that makes you want things to be better for him.

I was thinking sympathetic sadness.

My hubby went with miserably inadequate.

So...yeah. I'm toast.

I've apologized. And I'm owning up and taking the lumps I deserve because I should have known better.

Every word counts when you are writing. Every word needs to be the one that captures exactly what you want to say. The audience brings their own experiences to the table which will impact how and what they take away from your story, but that is no excuse not to be specific with your words.

Because sometimes you don't get an eraser. Or a white typwriter ink removal strip. Or a delete button.

Even if you really want one.


  1. Merry Christmas!!
    New Year's 2011 Fireworks Celebrations Around the World

  2. Ouch! Sobering words Deni.

    You're absolutely right, too. While there is always going to be some difference in perception between readers of a piece of work, the general meaning should hopefully be clear. There have been times I've submitted a chapter to my crit partner and there's been a misunderstanding about what is happening in the story. When that happens, it's totally my fault for not being specific enough in my word choice (and then it's back to the redrafting board to tighten that tricky prose up).

    And don't worry, I'm sure hubbs will forgive. After all, 'tis the season.

    Have a great Christmas.

    (Double checks post before submitting)

  3. Yeah, that's dangerous, comparing your husband to a narcissist. You have courage.

    I've gotten to the point where I don't show my husband what I write about him, that way I don't have to worry about him getting all embarrassed on me.

  4. I'm sure it's not as bad as you think. I'd be more than happy to look at the first chapter, if you'd like. ;)

  5. I have just one word to say (very carefully chosen, of course)...