The right word

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“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” –

Mark Twain

Well, ain’t that the truth!!!

I have found myself struggling to write this week.  Ideas are flowing and I’m dutifully logging them into the little journal that I keep with me for just such occasions.  The problem is that once I sit down to write the stories, the words just won’t come.  The plots are in my mind – clear and crisp.  Outlines are formed.  Arcs are established.  Characters developed so fully in my mind’s eye that I feel I can physically touch them.  Yet, the words won’t come.  Well, I should say that the RIGHT words won’t come.  Plenty of wrong ones are finding their way onto my pages.  Monotonous, flat, saccharin, dramatic words are spilling themselves with abandon all over my stories.  But, the right words, the ones that make my sentences flutter or float or sink with melancholy and despair are hiding deep in some cavern that I can’t locate.  I know they’re there but I just can’t get my hands on them.  And, so, I wait, staring at a blank page or a blinking cursor, hoping that the right word will swan dive into my sentence.  The heat pulsing through the window is oppressive.  My desk is sticky with humidity.  My children are cranky.  Their hair is matted to their foreheads and their little faces are speckled with sweaty droplets.  My mind is seething in the heat – angry that those words won’t lend themselves to me.  I have no choice.  Surrender, Dorothy.  Get on with your other projects.  Let this one sit and stew.  When the time is right, lightening will strike.  And, when it does, the right words will wrangle their way past the unwelcome ones and anchor themselves in my stories.

I just hope that happens soon!

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2 responses »

  1. I second what Nancy says: just drop the ugly words on the page. Better a mound of garbage than a blank sheet of paper (or blank computer screen) any day in my book. Go for it! 🙂

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