A while back, I wrote a guide about writing descriptions. I’m supposed to write a follow-up part to that guide, and ideally soon – even though I’m assured there’s no rush. I’d like to get it done though – because reasons…
However, instead of working on that guide, I went and wrote something completely different. I went and rambled about understanding how people read – here. How do people translate words into images and sentences into actions? How do the letters on the page become stories in our minds?
I don’t know.
All I have are vague hunches about associations and memories and how they all somehow connects in our minds. Basically, it’s magic – sort of.
I think association is a really powerful thing and I think that if you pay attention to it, you can use it to great effect. Words mean things, and almost all words mean a little bit more than just the letters that make it up. When you put the words together, you get a whole that is bigger than the sum of the parts.
Words can be positively or negatively charged. They can be long and slow, or short and quick. Words can be warm and whimsical, and they can be cold and strict. This influences the feeling of the scene you’re writing and it affects the reader’s attitude towards it – or rather: I think it does (do you?).
I think all words count. It’s not just about the ones that carry the vital information. It’s about the little silly words that tie the big important words together too. Sure, they’re less obvious, and they don’t really shine the same way, but they’re part of the whole and they help keep the picture together. It’s important to pick the right ones for that job too.
You wouldn’t use the same language when you’re writing a scientific paper as you would when you’re writing an fantasy novel. In the same way, you probably wouldn’t use the same language in a fighting scene as in a love scene.
Or would you?