Watch your thoughts,
for they become Words.
Watch your words,
for they become actions.
The are the beginning lines of a well-known inspirational poem.
However, as I look at them, I see a hidden message for us writers.
When I first began writing, I had to break myself of the habit of telling.
I remember having so many critiques returned to me with the following in the comment section:
“Give more thoughts…show more action.”
In a lesson for my young students, I now give an example of how choosing the correct words can make a huge difference in the meaning that is portrayed:
Max walked down the street.
Max ran down the street.
Max skipped down the street.
Max hobbled down the street.
Max fled down the street.
And on and on…
Each new verb changes the picture for our minds’ eye.
And that picture, changes the mood…the intent…the meaning.
A dictionary, a thesaurus.
These are a writer’s best friends—especially the thesaurus.
They make our work more accurate…
They change telling stories into “word movies” and ho-hum books into sheer excitement for the reader.