This week in my fiction writing class, my professor showed a video by Stephen Fry. Afterwards, my professor told us to embrace language.
Call me presumptuous, but I can guess what you’re thinking. Embrace language? We’re writers. Of course we do that. Our job is to embrace language. Right? Right. Sometimes we need a reminder.
We often forget how much power words really have. That old adage “sticks and stones” is absolutely senseless. Words can hurt. Why do you think the concept of ‘reining in the tongue’ is so prevalent? Yet if we only look only at the negative side of the equation, we miss so much. Words can be ineffably beautiful, too.
I encourage you to fall in love. The next time you write something, pay attention to your word choice. Keep an eye out for love. The next time you read, notice the words that catch your eye. We all have those words we just love. You know what I’m talking about. We like how that one word sounds when it rolls off our tongue. My list of favorite words is long and ever growing, but a few of my personal favorites are odd words like corrosive, juxtaposition, and zeal.
Try it out. Look at a dictionary and thesaurus. Use words you wouldn’t normally use. Take an adventure.
Don’t just fall in love with a story; fall in love the words you use to tell it.