How often do you learn new words?

Growing up, all of us may have had instances where building a vocabulary list proved vital: SAT’s, GRE applications and if you live in the Caribbean, standard 5 just before exams. Remember you are only as good as your next new word. The thing though that has taken a while to seep in is not to show off your knowledge, but write in a way to capture your readers. I am thinking here of someone like Keigo Higashino’s Suspect X and Malice. You can fill in someone you like reading here. So, when was the last time you learned a group of new words (say 4 or 5), and when will you be meeting another.

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After all writer’s job is to amass words. As you read try to imagine the vocabulary list this current writer puts together, which words did he string along. How did he or she present their protagonist? Or create suspense? Get a feel for the characters as you read and re-read books that touch you. Is it all just words thrown together to move you?

writing on both sides of the brain
One of the books on writing (I think it’s Dwight V. Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer) suggests that the emotion you want to create in your novel or story already exists inside your reader. You are only letting them out. So read, write, repeat. And like the person who asked the guy in Writing on Both Sides of the Brain, “How to get to Carnegie Hall?” You’ve got to practice. Practice. Practice. Catch you all back here next week and sorry for the delay. It feels great to be back. Cherish every time you sit down to write and afterwards ship, launch or show your work. Let’s all build on small wins.

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