Friday, October 22, 2010

On a Quest to Find Just the Right Word

Today was a day of fighting with words. And believe me, it was a struggle. A battle. Words--those just-right ones, ones best for the thought, those that would convey on paper what I pictured in my head--proved elusive. In scene, emotion, dialogue. They just wouldn't come. Maybe I need a few days reprieve. Oh, yes--it's the weekend. I'll take the break!

 But I'll also take comfort in knowing that most writers have such days.

Yet, along with the problems, the fits and starts, I was reminded of just how important it is to find that right word. How important it is to not settle for a close-second. Maybe I should just put things aside for a few days. The reminder came in this little ditty that I ran across. It comes from David Carroll's A Manual of Writer's Tricks:

Call a woman a kitten, but never a cat;
You can call her a mouse, cannot call her a rat;
Call a woman a chick, but never a hen;
Or you surely will not be her caller again.

You can call her a duck, cannot call her a goose;
You can call her a deer, but never a moose;
You can call her a lamb, but never a sheep;
Economic she likes, but you can't call her cheap.

Ha! There we go. It's that important. What do you think? Been struggling with just the right word, too?


  1. Been doing that a lot lately-- and what a joy when it comes!

  2. Love the poem!

    And yes, wrestle with my share of words too. Somehow it always works out, but not, sometimes, without a fight.

    Happy weekend,

  3. I've been struggling with several sentences, trying to get the right word, the right phrase, what a feeling of accomplishment when it finally comes.

  4. Hi Kenda, followed you via your comment on Catherine Winn's blog. Loved the ditty. I sometimes struggle with words too.


  5. Terri, Karen, Catherine--thanks for stopping by :-) Wishing you success in finding just the right words this week!

    And happy to meet you, Rachna. Thanks for the follow. I'm heading over your way right now for a visit :-)

  6. I love that poem.

    When I have time, I like to read the dictionary just looking for words that might come in handy. ;)

  7. Hi Janet, glad you liked the poem. And Sandra--a fellow dictionary reader?! That can be an adventure in itself, can't it? Glad to know I'm not the only one who does that :-)

  8. hahahaha, been struggling too and a dictionary is my best friend when i write, wheeeewwwww..,