Every writer knows the importance of choosing the right word. We're required to express ourselves clearly and concisely. Talking loudly is yelling. Hitting furiously is smashing. The right word will lighten your text and ease any reader’s experience. It will give your sentences punch and create vivid images. The right word is a writer's best friend.
What if you don't know enough words? How does a writer pick the right word if he doesn't know it exists?
This is one of my biggest problems. In day-to-day writing such as this blog, I get along just fine. I'm almost undistinguishable from a native English speaker (of course if I did vlogs it'd be another story. You guys could poke fun at my accent).
Novels require more, however, and to me this seems even truer with fantasy and science-fiction. Sound too much like a modern-day speaker and you'll lose the feeling of a different world. This little step above the norm may not seem like much, but it becomes a real challenge for me.
I know the meaning to a lot of words. No problems when I read. When I write, however, those words aren't the ones that come to my mind. I'll use the same adjectives, verbs and clothes names over and over in a first draft (the truth is that my clothing and food vocabulary is horrible. No kidding, it’s hilarious how often I have to look up basic clothing names!).
Learning new vocabulary means using it over and over, until it becomes natural. Not an easy task.
I must love challenges, because I never paused to think about this. I noticed it as I began reading again, and noticed the difference. It’s a good thing I have revisions and thesaurus. The second one is a great friend, if you know enough to avoid the wrong-synonym pitfall.
And I’m sure, deep down, that this problem isn’t limited to me. Perhaps it’s more frequent. I’d bet there are a lot of writers out there who get annoyed or stumped because this famous right word is escaping them, slipping through their fingers.
So, I say, no good reasons not to improve my vocabulary. After all, who wouldn't want to learn new words? Words are fun!