Friday, June 22, 2012

Favorite WORDS

This painting actually has nothing to do with favorite words. I just like it. So there 'tis. (Source)

ALA IS HAPPENING! But I've decided I'm not going to get excited about it the way I got excited about BEA. I mean, it's kind of pointless bouncing around an old, old farmhouse just because many thousands of miles away, people may-or-may-not-be glancing at your book. Right?


Bouncing is always good. And I'm still pretty excited. So I'm going to post another Peculiar-related post, in total honorifics of the occasion.

It's a Favorite Words post. Exciting, yes. Basically I glanced through some early drafts and revisions of The Peculiar and saw which words I liked, and which words I liked way too much, and which words my editor crossed out while likely thinking, "GAHthisperson."

I remember that when I was twelve I really, really hated it when an author used the same adjective twice in short succession. I couldn't stand it. I was all like, "What's so hard about finding a different word, YOU SILLY BOOK-WRITER! >:( If I ever write a book, this will NEVER HAPPEN."

Mm-hm. Right, Stefan.

Anyway. Here are the words I used too much:

Beetle - There were sooo many beetles in this book. Beetles in walls, and under floorboards, and eyes that look like beetles, and people that scuttle like beetles. Some of the beetles are still there, but thankfully I was made to get rid of a few.

Passage - used in place of 'corridor' or 'hallway'. Apparently it's weird and outdated, and doesn't really mean hallway in America, but I think it's BETTER than those other words. Most of these stayed, I think.

Grey - Lots of things were grey. Like, lots-lots. I could have argued how that was a deeply symbolic visual rendering of the book's central themes, but... it's not. So now after copy-edits some of the grey things are red or black. *victory fist* 

Little - In my mind 'little' makes everything magical-sounding. If you say 'the little door' it seems much more interesting and mysterious than just "the door". To me. So everything was little. It was like all shrimpy-looking.

Fingers - is one of my all-time favourite words for no particular reason. I think I like the sound of it, but not sure. I use it way too often at any rate, especially now while writing book 2.

Here are all the random words I like or find particularly evocative:


I think I'm noticing a pattern. W's are nice. So are Y's and S's. Also, lots of those have been used as book titles. Except maybe puddle. And gnarl. Gnarly-gnarl.

Writer people, if you have favorite words, or words you use too much, feel free to TELL MEH.


  1. Eye. I can never find a good synonym for eye! And with my OCD-can't-use-the-same-word-twice-in-this-paragraph thing, it's a problem.

    1. IS there even a synonym for eye? Because I've had that problem before, too. If there isn't we should go all Shakespear and INVENT one.

  2. Why are you so funny? I'm in my CP's guest room laughing out loud, and I'm sure she thinks I'm insane.

    Also, your ARC (my ARC?) is being passed amongst my writer friends.

    Also, I love wicked and sly as well.

    1. I'm beginning to wonder who will be left to buy the book with all these ARCs floating around. But AH HOPE THEY LAHK IT. :D

  3. I have my characters roll their eyes wayyyyyyyy too much. I loved this post, Stefan :-)

  4. i've been known to use 'and' a lot. and 'the'.

  5. @Rachel: Glad you liked it! :)

    @Michael: Aren't you just hysterical.

  6. I'm American, and I use "passage" all the time to mean hallway. Passage just sounds so much more....mysterious and interesting, for lack of a proper word.

    My critique partners pointed out that I tend to use "dilapidated" quite a bit.

  7. I am also American (I guess), and I happen to adore the word passage. Apparently, I overuse realize, and always in the most idiotic context. And a turn of phrase I have worked to death is "An idea strikes me." :)