Do you struggle with Word Selection?

Words have a power all their own

Words have a power all their own (Photo credit: Lynne Hand)

The word is on the tip of my tongue, or is it in my fingers poised above the keyboard. Wherever it is I need to find that dang word but I can’t. As I work through the current draft of Wyrm Bait, or in a few months some other novel, there are words that don’t read right. When nothing comes out of my addled head, I spend time delving for a better one in the Flip Dictionary, a really useful aid created by Barbara Ann Kipfer for The Writer’s Digest, which I prefer over a conventional thesaurus.

Cover of "Flip Dictionary"However hard I attempt to find dozens of phrases and words to change on every page of my manuscript, failure dogs my endeavours. Why? Conventional wisdom suggests that at the detailed editing stage I should be honing each word or phrase, since previous drafts only tackled the broader brush-strokes. In fact the number of edits should be nearer six if not more. What am I missing? Am I rushing? I’ve given myself two months at the rate of 8 pages per day. Or am I still too involved with my creation and unwilling to address its failings?

Maybe my writing process has eliminated the need to do repeated revisions. I plot my novels in detail and each day, before I write anything, I think through the next scene in my head. When I type, I don’t always churn out words as they come to mind. I craft my phrases a little but not at the expense of the flow. I also glance through my work at the end of each day or the following morning. Am I editing as I write?

I fear there is another answer. Word selection fails when I talk and I can ascribe that to my MS. Gradually the stress and the exhaustion has robbed me of my ability to remember even simple words. Sometimes I talk rubbish and I only pray that my writing isn’t close behind. Admittedly I can use the wrong word or hit the wrong keys but I call that a co-ordination relapse. When I was an equestrian journalist, remembering names of horses and riders’ faces was straightforward and essential. Now I forget friends’ names and the titles of song that I love by ?*&%$£?)(

Picture of Hollywood sign

Picture of Hollywood sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If only I hadn’t blown my money on Hollywood dreams, I might have the savings now to employ an editor with a better brain; or at least one without lesions.

Talk to you all next week. Good writing from The Silver Scribbler.

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