The Power of Words

University Bay by Laurie Buchanan

University Bay by Laurie Buchanan

“Writers are the wind that sail words across the page.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

Have you ever felt you would burst from sheer delight? Last night I returned from the Writers’ Institute at UW Madison and my head is spinning with a joyfully intense awareness. I haven’t slept a wink in days because I’ve got enough high voltage energy to power a gazillion-watt lighthouse. I feel as though I have extra clarity of vision and an unusual capacity to perceive and to distinguish.

I am suffused with wonder
i AM suffused with wonder
i am SUFFUSED with wonder
i am suffused WITH wonder
i am suffused with WONDER

… at the deceptive simplicity of writing—for publication. It’s much more complex than it appears at first blush. Especially when you take into consideration the:

– Show, don’t tell factor (he slammed his fist on the table vs. he said angrily)
– Keep it taut – less is more
Specific is your friend
– “Because” – not because I told you so, but causality; to reveal a solution
– The semicolon – don’t overuse it
– Italics – don’t us it. Use words that do their own heavy lifting
– With few exceptions, punctuation goes inside the quote
– End every chapter with an arrow into the next chapter
– Entertainment and emotion are paramount on every page
– Avoid author intrusion (saying something on the side to the reader, like this)

Language at its best is used to inspire others to find the best in themselves. Well chosen words can motivate, offer hope, create vision, impact thinking, and alter results.

Choose each word as if it matters—it does.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

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