The Word II

January 18, 2018

Words are a writer's lego (a metaphor I've used before but it's apt). They come in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes and the more you have, the better chance of creating something spectacular. That's not to say those with the most pieces, the most shapes and the most colours create the best works; that's where talent comes in. As men and women like to say. although I suspect for different reasons: it's not the size that counts it's how you use it. 

 

But size does count, not as much as how you use what you have (we're talking words again), but it counts.

 

There are great prose out there written by writers, like Bukowski, who don't have an extensive word bank. Shakespeare, writing in early Modern English had only a limited lexicon available to him, but he did okay from what I hear. Then there are writers like Russell Hoban in his novel Ridley Walker, who throw the dictionary out of the window and do their own thing. Bless and preserve 'em all, and learn from them that a limited knowledge/use of English is no bar to writing a fantastic English novel, play or poem. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't use every opportunity to extend your word-bank for the options, accuracy and nuance they provide for your future works.

 

Smart phones are stupid but they do give you access to knowledge and an electronic note pad. If I come across a word I don't know whilst, as I often do, reading in a pub, I look it up and note it down. My tip is to do the same. Extend your lego collection because as a writer you never know when those unusual pieces might come in handy.

 

Ps: I'll be posting book reviews and recommendations on the home page from now on. And a thank you to Pixabay. I use my own pics for the Westcountry posts but for the writing blog I get them from Pixabay's fabulous store of free images. 

 

 

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martin@martindinham.co.uk

Location: Exeter, Devon.

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