Words are fire. They’re art. They represent the ultimate sophistication and fascination of all time. The ability to live forever. The finesse to force emotions. Time machines. The lyrics and poetry in timeless music. The flexibility they offer. The tact in double entendre. The colour…pictures they paint, one at a time, in our imaginations. The power to register themselves boldly on the eyes of our minds. I don’t know about you, but I think words are pretty dope.
To think we recycle twenty-six alphabets every time, and still create masterpieces! Words might be great for talking, but penned down, they are truly artistic. Pictures might speak a thousand words, but words are worth a thousand pictures. Written down, they last a thousand years. As a writer, words are the tools with which you leave your mark. The entire work that lies in documenting stories, or passing across written information, lies, in fact, in being able to choose the right words that would pass your message across clearly and make the right impact.
How then do you choose the right words to paint the pictures you want? A few tips:
Reading can never be overemphasized. You don’t have to get a degree in “word-mastery” or be a spelling bee professional before you can know the right words to use to paint your imaginative pictures. When you read, you are exposed to an array of words in their individual contexts. Of course, you get to learn a lot, trigger your imaginative prowess, and so much more in the process. But, if you want to get your words right, you have to unleash your reading mojo.
Ok, so maybe this seems a little vague. How do feel words? You know how they say ‘if it’s meant to be, it would’? It’s pretty much like that. A lot of people make the terrible mistake of forcibly injecting words into sentences. While you might have concluded that you piece looks much smarter, you just might have successfully doubled down to dumb. There would be no flow and you would confuse your readers in ways you can’t even imagine. It’s best you use the words you feel work best. To do so, just write it as it comes. As your vocabulary increases, you’ll be able to use better words.
- Be creative
It’s still just words! Don’t try to be too serious about it. Be creative about how you step on words and they’ll lead you to heaven – literally. While being creative, however, you don’t want to come off as cliché.
“You my darling are as beautiful as the seven seas and as bright as the sun!”
That doesn’t suck as much as I thought. But, you get the point right? As much as you can, avoid metaphors and similes. Even adjectives can be uber disastrous. As time goes, we’ll show you how to show and not tell when writing.
Of course, remember to practice as much as you can. You’ll be a pro in no time.