These are just words, but they evoke strong images and jumpstart your imagination. Even without further description, your mind has a sense of what we are talking about and what could come next. Of course, youâ€™ve heard these words and they represent a familiar story line.* But the reason, these words can so instantly bring to mind those stories is that they were so well chosen.
â€œFlying man who is very strongâ€ or â€œgroup of people with special powers who uphold the lawâ€ are just as accurate and perhaps a bit more descriptive, but they certainly donâ€™t grab you and make you pay attention.
Certainly, the sentences and the paragraphs are important. They put the words into context and allow you to explain exactly what you mean. But the right words will grab your readers attention and run around in their heads long after theyâ€™re done reading.
Collect words. This is the first step in using them better. Keep a list of the ones you like. Think about how they sound and the images they conjure. Use them carefully and intentionally to inspire, excite and motivate your readers.
Try using words as a short hand for or instead of New Yearâ€™s resolutions. What do you want this year to be? Fun? Organized? Happy? Productive? Creative? Prosperous?
How about all of that and more?
*with the potential exception of skunk girl â€“ this is the superhero name adopted by my youngest when she was four â€“ her primary super power is, as the name suggests, to emit an overpowering knock-out odor. She can also fly and can become invisible.
I’m still amazed by the power of words. Never thought of making a list though. That’s a great idea. Also, I see great potential for a blockbuster Skunk Girl movie.
January 9, 2012