StatCounter

Friday, November 18, 2016

How does wording choice develop a story's character? How do you use and select your words?

How does wording choice develop a story's character? How do you use and select your words?

Big topic but an interesting one. The topic was suggested and this was the theme. Sometimes find myself writing down turns of phrase like:

She had to be the sexiest-looking 42-year-old on the planet, the best that money could buy.

Is this a positive or a negative when you read a book? How can such statements be used to describe character?

Honestly, when I read something like that, if it’s from 1940, maybe 1950, it fits within the era.   I smile and enjoy the description. It’s usually from a PI about a client or a woman in a bar.

If it’s contemporary, I read it but it pulls me out of the book.  Wording choice has to be relevant to the genre, the era, and the time frame. It’s important to use words to grab he readers and hook theme to the character but it has to relate to the reader.

For me, building a character is my challenge. I love to develop a plot, but the character something that will resonate with a reader, drives the plot. So, I have to use words to develop a character. I try to use words that will grab a reader and my editor won’t cut. They need to be descriptive, evocative, and something a reader can imagine in their mind.  

Your thoughts?  

I’m looking forward to seeing what the other authors have to say.
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Margaret Fieland http://margaretfieland.wordpress.com
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.blogspot.ca
Dr. Bob Rich  http://wp.me/p3Xihq-OB
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com
A.J. Maguire  http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com

16 comments:

  1. The description given at the top didn't put me off or put me in an era, but your observation on who might have made that judgement was spot on. Something I didn't pick up on when I was contemplating the assignment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment, Skye. It's always interesting to see everyone's POV on a subject.

      Delete
  2. Find the right words to build a character in a unique, appealing way without making an editor (or reader) stop and have the wrong reaction to the wording is a challenge. Enjoyed your post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rhobin. And I agree writing your characters is always a challenge.

      Delete
  3. I guess I didn't necessarily think "PI" when I read the little sentence from Bob, but with your description, it does definitely sound very film noir! Nice post. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, Rachael.It's that different perception and maybe if you've watched the 1940's PI films. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. PI was a good guess for the woman described. I find plotting more challenging tha character building, but they all have their stumbling blocks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Judy, that both character and plot have challenges.

      Delete
  6. Wording does depend on time period and genre. Those words set in this time period are very insulting, at least to me, even if they're in the mind of a PI. It tells me not only a lot about the other person, but also the character thinking it. I would tend to not like the character thinking it and see them as a misogynist. LOL

    Victoria Chatham uses some great examples in her blog post about how descriptions and genre go hand in hand. What you write when trying to set a creepy mood is completely different that what you'd write for a romance or fantasy.

    All of this is what makes writing such a fascinating and exciting proposition. :)

    Marci

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your post, Marci. I didn't like the character thinking it either, but that may have been the point. It's great fun to be writers - and readers.

      Delete
  7. No, he is not a PI but a millionaire. :)
    They can be sleazy, too, as we may note from the news.
    I agree with you that character is all-important. My problem is that they do as they want to, not as I want them to.
    :)
    Bob

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boy, I was way off there. It showed someone most of us didn't like. And you're right, those characters often say and do whatever they want - not what we want. Thanks for an interesting topic this month.

      Delete
  8. Hi Beverley, I like your point about wording throwing you from a story sometimes. If I read a book that's a so-called "easy read", I know just how much work a writer has done to make it easy. It's actually hard work choosing words that flow. Thanks for the great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Helena, easy reading can be very hard writing. Thanks for dropping by.

      Delete
  9. Beverly, good point. I don't write historicals, but I imagine it must be difficult to stick to phrasing appropriate for the era.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point, Margaret. I agree from a contemporary POV I'd find writing tight, descriptive historical difficult.

      Delete