Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday's Inspiration - On Meaning

When we're writing often finding the meaning can be difficult. John Gardner in On Becoming A Novelist made a statement that made me think and think. "Getting down one's exact meaning helps one discover what one means."

How often during the revision stage of writing have you been stopped while writing a sentence or a paragraph seeking the exact word to give meaning to a sentence. This happens to me frequently. During the roughing out of the story, the words often flow one after another without a thought and it's only later that I look to see if the words I've chosen are the right words. Now, this can become an unwillingness to let the story go when I put in a word I think might be the right one and on a later look through decide the first one I've used is the right one. Other times I come upon blank spaces in a sentence where no word came to make the meaning clear and suddenly it's there.

Exploring and finding words is what a writer does. Unlike the artist who shows images to give meaning, the writer must find words to create pictures. Finding the right word gives life and meaning to the story. While not always successful the journey lies in the search.

How about you? Do you use the first words that come to mind and never look beyond what they really mean? Do you spend time searching for the one word that makes the meaning clear to you and hopefully to the reader?

1 comment:

Melissa Keir said...

Sometimes I have to do a search for the perfect word. I use some words too much and have to find some synonyms.