Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Word OD

Do you ever get a word stuck in your head?

Like some sort of crazed addict who got fixated on something, you keep using this one word over and over again, and it just feels so good when you type it out. Only at some point, you realize that you have slathered it all over your writing piece like too much mustard on a hotdog, where it's dripping down the sides and making the bun all soggy and gross. And then you have to go back and delete your precious word, saying farewell to it forever more, no matter how badly you want to keep on typing it out.

Swathed, for example. In the book I am currently writing (and oh yes, almost finished with! Lunula fans, the second book cometh), I realized too late that I had "swathed" all kind of things from darkness, to light, to bodies with blankets. It's such a satisfying word though. Just say it:


I get little shivers from how sweet that imagery is. I could say, "it was in darkness" or I could say, "it was swathed in darkness." So chic. So smooth.

But if everything is swathed then, like mustard (NOT ketchup. I hail from Philly.), it just ruins the main deliciousness I was trying to accentuate.

So what is my cure for this addiction? I give you and their word of the day:

You can look up past  archives of all the words of all the days, and eventually you are bound to find a new one.

Couthie, for example. Keep an eye out for all my couthie characters in future books.

I realize this is just taking the addict from one fix to another, but at least you're putting down the mustard and adding a little relish. Variety is the condiment of life, after all.

What words have you gotten hung up on? I want to know! (Maybe you'll give me my next one!) And what tips do you have for avoiding word overdose?


  1. On my blog, I OD often on "Actually", and have a terrible habit of making words up. In the manuscript I'm writing, I've found myself overusing "practically"...

    1. I use actually, just, and "kind of" frequently as well. Yay for superlatives!

  2. As the self-appointed Absurd Word Nerd, I usually find the right word, and have enough synonyms to suit my needs. But in my writing, I have to force myself from making everything happen 'SUDDENLY'. She suddenly turned to see her father. Suddenly, the room started spinning. All of a sudden, he suddenly saw that the suddenly saddened psuedo santa was suddenly saddened
    . . . yeah.

    More than words though, I find myself repeating themes. I have an odd habit of killing dogs. (in my writing, not in real life. In real life, I love dogs)
    [shameless plug:]

    1. Absurd Word Nerd! I like that. I will absolutely check out your blog. Thank you for stopping by mine!