A friend dropped by the other day and said, ‘Emer, please too many big words.’ Honestly? The very last thing I’d seen my book as was wordy, a slice of dramatic flare alright but big words? I believe in the use of my own voice, in dialect and terms distinct to a locality. As a young woman, books were full of words I didn’t understand, I read past them to get a sense of what was being said. Here’s the thing; words come to mind that sound right when you go to put pen to paper like you have some inbuilt form of an index from your own reading. Nine times out of ten when I revert to a dictionary, a word is an exact sense of what I’m trying to say.
Complex words are only ever used in context to define what you’ve already said or to introduce what’s going to come next. There’s a bit of learning on the job subconscious or otherwise in all book. These words are far and few between in the book, so please excuse the foible; a minor weakness or eccentricity of character.
You can build a whole character around a word. Take the descriptive word ‘visceral’ for example, when applied to a character you’re defining someone that leads from the gut, someone who acts upon instinct rather than intelligence, someone who weeps endearingly but cannot pinpoint why; someone who might just laugh out of sync.
Verve, now there’s a sexy word that can stretch the imagination. It implies attitude, conjuring up the idea of something spunky, but applied to the written word verve is literary animation, talent. I’m here in my mode. So, what does it mean to be diligent? Persistent, attentive, in constant pursuit of an end goal? Apply that to a collective of distinctively different individuals, stretch it, go to town with it, make it unwitting and lively. How can one be diligent and fail in love, fail in friendship? Where’s the opposition because there’s always opposition? What’s the reverse of diligent? You figure that out, and you have a storyline that crackles with conflict and anticipation.