sucks is horrendous. I often fall back on the words I use in my everyday speech and seeing as I mostly talk to my dog, plants, and, maybe, the bathtub; that’s probably not a good idea.
What to do?
Mr. Sage Cohen offers this advice in the Writer’s Digest 25 Ways to Improve Your Writing in 30 Minutes a Day article:
Think of your writing as a windshield. Ill-suited words can streak and cloud your reader’s view, and just-right language can be as clarifying as a high-powered carwash. Once you have a solid draft, it’s time to consider:
- Could a different word bring even more energy or resonance to a poignant moment through sound, subtleties of meaning, or syllabic rhythm?
- Could the setting be conveyed more vividly? Is the natural world palpable?
- Is the emotional tone consistently resonant? Are there neutral words or passages that could be more charged?
- Does the language powerfully enact the action?
As you polish and prune, each piece of writing will teach you something new about what is possible. Let yourself be surprised.
Buy a thesaurus, and remember to use it.
Until next time, write abundantly.