By Zee Monodee

I just got off a writing spree. Went over my personal deadline of January 31 with a story completed at only 50%, and something snapped. Snapped!

That's exactly the word that could describe what happened to me. What comes into your mind when you hear this word? Snapped. For me, it's a rubber band, pulled tight, released, hitting something, stinging, hurting. All right, my description is 11 words long, and I summarised it in 1 single word - Snapped!

I owed it to myself to finish this story, to meet my deadline. A few days' lateness I could deal with (not forgive myself, mind you!), but not more. That's how I set out during the past week to write 'The End', come hell or high water, on this WIP (work in progress, for those, who unlike me, live outside the world of writing).

I did write my ending, on Sunday. My fingers flowed over my keyboard until Saturday. Everything unfurled so beautifully. Then Sunday came, and it was like pulling teeth. Why? Because I couldn't find the words - the words - needed for that final scene where they confess their love to one another.

Watch the following clip, the first few seconds:

When I saw this trailer, I was a debut-ing writer. Don Russell's opening lines struck me, because this is what us writers had to do - choose our words carefully, and [hopefully], never repeat ourselves.

Easier said than done! Between the echoes that plague our every manuscript, the 'genius line' that hit us once and which worked fab but cannot be done again in a new story, the very minutiae of people-on-paper's lives and the fact that we need to convey it all in a big beautiful packet wrapped in a pretty red bow...

What's a writer to do?

Eat a thesaurus page every morning at breakfast (when the brain is supposedly functioning at optimum? I trust they serve double espressos with the page!)
Set up the Oxford Dictionary as your bedside read (and not curse it when it inevitably falls onto your big toe in those groggy mornings when you're searching for your glasses and send the huge tome onto the floor?)
Sign up for Word of the Day/Word Power quizzes on Reader's Digest (and wonder where in heaven they pull up those descriptions?)

Or (easier said than done, again, yes) know who your characters are and play upon that? Why not let them choose their words, play with them, tease, toy, find THE perfect word? Utopia?

Yet, there are examples of words used in such a way as to make you hang on the edge of your seat!

Chuck and Blair - 3 little words...
She first said it, trying to convince him to give up his cold feet and claim her. Then he did it, when all she wanted was him but she wouldn't - couldn't - give in to the lout he was! We hung on to this request - her breathless tone, his I'm-Chuck-Bass-and-I-Conquer-Everything smirk and raised eyebrows.

Jerry Maguire - You complete me.
He didn't say 'you make me whole', 'you're my other half'. Just one word made the difference!

Words... as writers, they are our tools, our paintbrushes, our sprinkle of glitter, our distilling of emotion... our downfall, when the dreaded block settles in and refuses to cooperate!

Who knew words could be so much? As Boyzone said, sometimes they're all we have to take a [reader's] heart away...

We shouldn't underestimate their power.

Now tell me - do you have a love affair with words, or are you ones in the camp of 'you say it best when you say nothing at all'?

From Mauritius with love,



  1. Zee,

    Great post.

    I'm a thesaurus fiend. Be lost without it, I'll honestly admit.

    There's been times when I get a word in my mind and can't pry it out of my head. Drives me nuts. Then it hits me and I do my happy dance. Trust me, you really don't want to see it ;).

  2. Lol Lynn! I'll admit I'm addicted to shift+F7 in Word. I'd be lost without it, especially with my echoes!

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting.


  3. My thesaurus and I are closer than any beauty product I use! And baby, I use a lot! LOL I love your posts and this one is great. Now excuse me, I've got to go find the movie, Inside Man... Clive Owen -oh yeah!

  4. Ah words ... I've had a long standing affair with them. Shh, don't tell my husband! :-) When I get a burst of inspiration, first, I try to get the scene down, then I go back, and toy with words, always striving for the PERFECT word! :-)

    You're not alone in your madness, Z! :-)

  5. Fantastic post, Zee. I can't stand those day when every word is a struggle to get right. I've wasted more time sitting, staring into space just searching my brain for the correct word to use. I use a thesaurus, but I always want to make sure the word is a word most would understand. LOL, I wouldn't want a reader to have to stop reading to go look a word up in the dictionary!

  6. Hey Sheri

    I make good use of my FIL's library (he's an English professor) when I need words. Beauty products? Nah, you don't need them. :)

    Lol, funny, but I watched this clip, heard Clive Owen talk, and was like, where's our DVD of Inside Man? *grin*

    Thanks & hugs!

  7. Jaws!!

    Thanks girl - it's good to know I'm not the only mad hatter.

    I think my affair with words began when I was 10, way before I discovered boys (and what fickle creatures they were... While words...) *smile*

    Thanks for dropping by, especially when you just got back on the blogging scene again. Hugs!!

  8. Lol Brenda - that's a paramount error. Needing to open a dictionary while in the middle of a darn good read! Totally kills the groove.

    True - some days, you just agonize over 'the' word and nothing comes. Arghh!

    Thanks for the comment, girl. Hugs!

  9. Great post, Zee. BTW me and Mr. thesaurus are like this: *crosses fingers*

  10. Lol Martha! Hope your hubs ain't jealous, :)


  11. I love words.
    WORDS WORDS WORDS. And language.
    It's a miracle for me and that's why I write. That's why I write in English. Comparing German and English is so revealing and I'm very picky with each word's meaning.
    Nahno ∗ McLein

  12. Z - you are soooo right! Sometimes those words just don't want to flow. Sometimes we can feel them - just hovering in a gray haze - just out of reach - but when we can get to them - it's a wonderful thing! ;D

  13. Nahno - very true how words can be so empowering. I do that too, use words from different languages (French, English, Hindi). Each one in each language seems to have a certain specificity to it, that makes it look like it will be hard to translate into another tongue, to give it the same meaning, the same weight.

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting! Hugs

  14. Joanna, you know what I absolutely hate? It's when you need a word, it's right there on the edge of your brain, on the tip of your tongue, yet you can't for the life of you pull it out and make it happen. Drives me absolutely nuts!
    Then when you do get it, you wanna dance a happy dance like a loon on helium! :)
    Hugs girl!


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