This topic has been eating at me over the last few weeks. It never occurred to me how word choice can effect the showing of a scene. The right word can incite a smell or a sound or a feeling. So, obviously, I thought it was time to share.
The importance of this can start in something small: how you open a door, how you walk across a floor, or even remove/put on clothing. Then you go into something large like a fight or, dare I say it, sex. These two in particular require a lot of thought behind the choice. The reason why I find these two “larger” in scale is b/c you need a good, constant mix of showing words in these scenes. Words that show sound and touch, etc., as well as emotion.
Let’s open a door.
I pushed the door open.
I nudged the door open.
I kicked the door open.
I shoved the door open.
In each case you should have had a different visual… If you didn’t, then I suck at this, lol. Regardless, this is the same for every other detail in your ms. If you want your reader right there, that word choice is the key.
Now the fight and/or smexy scene. No worries, I’m not going to use a sex scene for my example, lol. The only difference is that you’ll use harder vs softer sounding/feeling words. Okay, so here’s one paragraph from my ms, Doppelganger. I’m going to make it simple, then show the real deal after.
I turn around and run. He is ready for this, though, and grabs me. His momentum pushes me into the table. The edge presses into my stomach, forcing the air from my lungs. My arms move out and hit the glass centerpiece of flowers. The vase falls over the other side and the glass breaks, sending hundreds of clear glass marbles across the floor.
Now for the way I actually wrote it…
I twist around and run. He is ready for this, though, and crashes into me. The momentum thrusts me into the table and the edge slams into my stomach, driving the air from my lungs. My arms fly out and strike the glass centerpiece of flowers. The vase rocks over the other side and the glass shatters, sending hundreds of clear glass marbles skittering across the floor.
That’s quite the difference, isn’t it? Thesaurus.com. Type your boring-ass word in and see if anything stands out to you. Simple.
Now YOU! Give us an example…