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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop: Choose Your Words Wisely



Have you ever read a short story or a book that felt off? The story itself was good but something just didn’t feel right. There is a good chance poor word choice was throwing you off.


The way I see it, one of the most important things a writer can focus on is word choice. Especially when it comes to dialog. Dialog can make or break a story. As a writer I need to know when to have a character say “hello” versus having a character say “hey.” I need to know the connotation behind words, particularly if I am writing a period piece or a story taking place in a certain country (if the story takes place in the US but a character had just moved there from London, it would be a smart choice to have the character use British slang versus having them use American slang.) 

Along with good word choice, I find that my favorite writers aren’t afraid to use “colorful” language. They use cuss words and content appropriate slang which I feel make the story feel more real and the characters more relatable. It’s kind of sad that I feel the need to mention this, but Americans are extremely weird when it comes to language. The word “fuck” will have some of them up in arms and they will act like you’re an obscene idiot for using the word, but they have no problem watching something extremely violent as long the language isn’t too filthy. I’m looking at you, PG-13 movies.

So, when you’re writing your next story or editing your current story, please look at your choice of words. Does the word make sense in the context of the scene? Did you make productive choices? If a sentence doesn’t sound right, try changing a word or two and see if that helps.

I hope this helps you in your writing. Please let me know if you have any word choice tips or advice!


To continue hopping through other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join, click here.