Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Picking Words

The stories for the next collection, Masters of the Hotel Bentmoore, are plodding along. Two are completely done; one is half done. With the last one, I'm still going back and forth which direction I want it to go. I'm letting it stew in my head for a while; the thick will eventually separate from the thin and I'll be able to separate the two and figure out which one I want to use and which one to put back in the freezer for later. (If you've ever made soup, you know what I'm talking about.)

I am always thinking about the stories. When I'm walking the dog, washing the dishes, cleaning the floors, dusting the shelves, I'm thinking about them. I'm thinking about the scenes, and how best to describe what I'm trying to convey; what to describe in detail, and what to leave up to the imagination of the reader.

There are so many words with slight differentiations to describe things. If I want to describe a sub's negative reaction to a direct order, I may write that she's being defiant. But I may also use the word insolent, impertinent, cheeky, brazen, or disdainful; and all those words are, to me, just a touch different from one another. Which word I pick will depend on the character and the situation.

If a sub is struggling, she may writhe. But she also may wiggle, or wriggle, or squirm, or tremble, or joggle.  Her muscles may squeeze, but they may also clamp, or constrict, or clench, or spasm, or press, or simply hold.

Sleek is not the same as willowy, and certainly not the same as lithe, but any of those words may describe her graceful lines. She may be softly rounded, or have a narrow torso with low, compact hips. She may have a thin, reedy chest but high-set, plump breasts. She may be prim and poised, but also sculpted and smooth, satiny to the touch.

She may be any of those things, but I don't always want to tell the readers in so many words. Sometimes, I want the readers to have the freedom to picture the character on their own. Let them decide the hue of a fat nipple and the exact dusky pinkness of folds. It's often more satisfying that way.

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