Love Bomb Your Story With Specific Words
There are tons of examples, in the millions of books out there, depicting the use of descriptive words. Words matter. Instead of flipping through countless pages to find passages to illustrate this point, I turn to song lyrics. The song, Rich, by Maren Morris is one that stands out with immediate samples of the excellent use of descriptive words to portray meaning. The chorus is brilliant.
In the chart below look at how the chosen words on the left explode with meaning. On the right, I substituted some of the lyrics with general, vague words. The less distinctive words pale in comparison to their striking counterparts.
Wear a critic’s hat for a minute. Pick a passage in your story written with generalities instead of specificity. Do an honest critique. Does it shine with grammatical correctness but bore the reader to death? If you feel it misses the mark, double down on that humdrum paragraph. Change out some of the dull, common words. Sprinkle in words that have distinct flavor. Words that better describe what you’re trying to convey. Don’t turn into a maniac and go overboard with flamboyant words. Keep it simple but more identifiable.