Friday, March 26, 2010

Word Dressings

So, I'm looking in the mirror this morning and this is what I see: mangled bedhead from going to bed with wet hair, pale and drawn eyes from going to bed too late, chipping nail polish from, well who cares, and a pilled sweater the label swore wouldn't. Can anyone relate? 

My faded jeans fit me to the hips which are covered by a green camisole pulled taunt over. Then, atop that, there's my vintage AC/DC tee shirt--'k, it's not vintage but close enough people; it's not my fault my husband's parents let him stalk his concert-worthy van with a ton of friends back then and traipse carelessly to a rock-n-roll gig to hobnob with the semiconscious and my parents wouldn't. Sorry, minor regression. Oh, and my feet are bare. What does my dressing say about me? 

Tired, overly-worked mom with dated clothes in dire need of a break, who's home taking care of yet another sick child. Grr....

Now I'm looking at my new first paragraph to my current work--which seems to have been a WIP longer than it takes a student driver to finally make that turn kid! and I'm positive will eventually put me in the RIP section of the newspaper. 

I'm sure your eyebrows have raised a few times and maybe you've even developed a sense of humorous pity for me--bring it on, I'm a mom--but I wonder if you've seen what I was doing? 

Stimulating your thoughts and picking your brain: What words to you choose to dress the opening of your manuscript, and just as important how do you choose them? 


  1. Mmm, I choose my I picture a movie playing in my mind and tap into all the senses. I prefer vivid-I-feel-like-I'm-there descriptions. Which is also why I sometimes, err, uover describe. I'm working on it:)

    And PS you sound way hotter than this frumpy mom in the morning. Knee highs, dingy robe, sleepy eyes and nest hair. You're not alone.

  2. It really depends of course. I actually like starting with a glimpse of the bad guy, so readers get a glimpse of the threat. Overall, any type of movement (the character doing something) works for me.

  3. I think beginnings are the hardest. And I'm terrible with settings. So I tend to skim over the nail polish and the clothing and everything and just say you're in the bathroom. Yeah, that's about as far as I get until my CP's are like, "Um, where are they? I can't figure this out."

  4. Candace, I love a sexy pair of knee highs...back in junior high. Hah. Just kidding.

    E. Arroyo, Action. I hear ya.

    Elana, I sooooooo completely agree about beginnings being the hardest. I am currently--again x's infinity--restarting my current ms. Every other element seems set in stone--sure more editing can be done and I plan on it--but it's written. And, the bathroom me thoughts.

    Thanks for the comments, guys.

  5. Great blog. I hopped over from shooting stars.

    I just try to keep my words in the right voice at first. Then I can fine tune them later. :-)

  6. Shannon, Thank you. Voice, very good topic and very true. Thanks for the comment and for hopping on over.

  7. My openings just spew forth like an erupting volcano; suddenly from out of nowhere the action begins. I tend to describe the actions, what happens - rather than the colour of the lava - trying to give pace and momento....BUT... I'm confused as to whether this gives a flat 2-dimensional image. Maybe I should give a little colour and depth by spending more time on creating scenery and 3 - dimensional depth??

  8. Ann Marie, I think you're on the right road. I'm a very descriptional writer. (Yeah, I used that word.) I need to work on focusing more on the action as apposed to the fluttering leaves or capsizing waves. I do believe it must be balanced, though. Aren't we all looking for balance? Thanks for your comment. I'm loving the color of everyone's ideas.

  9. Well, I haven't had much experience putting first paragraphs together but... To me the beginning to a story is so vital, you need to deliver the right amount of intrigue and also spark the reader's curiosity enough to have them read on. So how do I word it? I begin by writing a sentence in its raw form. And then, I go back to re-write it, over and over, substituting and playing with the words until I'm satisfied with the effect it has. Synonyms come in very handy.

  10. Vry, I like your reference to 'raw'. It's encouraging to hear that you play with words, too. Sometimes I get down on myself for not 'writing it right' the first time. I know, lame. Just another reason why I write--to get rid of my image of perfectionism. ";-) It's always a work-in-progress.


!SPLAT Your Awesomeness! I love to hear from you!


Related Posts with Thumbnails