Home > Writing > What’s a Six Letter Word for AAARGH?

What’s a Six Letter Word for AAARGH?

I swear that writing is like a crossword puzzle. You want to use the perfect word, the exact word that will fit. The perfect word will enhance the story with nuance and flavor and subtext. But the search for the perfect word can bring your writing flow to a halt while you fart around trying to remember the word that is sort of like “strive.”

Strive, but kind of sounds like astride because it has an “a” and an “i” in there and anyway, it’s an active word that suggests hard work and not just daydreams. Hrm, maybe I should change that book he’s reading to one about patent law to foreshadow the ending. Did they have books about patent law then? Maybe I should Google that… NO INTERNET DURING WRITING TIME. Focus on the word, striving, reaching, climbing, do I have a thesaurus? Where’s my thesaurus? I could just use the online one… NO INTERNET DURING WRITING TIME. Where is my stupid thesaurus? Oh, hell with it. Next paragraph. She was attired in brown velvet, trimmed in… no, I can’t say attire, too close to the last sentence where I said aspire.

Aspire! I meant to say aspire!

***

See how much faster that would have gone if I’d just written “strive XXX find synonym” and moved on? (The XXX tag doesn’t mean hardcore porn in this sense – it gives me something to search for later on in order to find all my notes. I find the margin note feature less than helpful with first drafts.) I’d have thought of the right word within seconds.

Honestly, the hardest part about writing is learning to get out of your own way.

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  1. erebusetnox
    March 19, 2010 at 8:46 AM

    Lol…I have definitely been there. A good thesaurus helps a bit, but I don’t know if I can forbid myself from going online, unless I use your idea of keeping notes in the margin. It’s just too easy to click into a new window and ask the internets all my burning questions. But I definitely do not obsessively check my FB page…nope, not at all… 🙂

  2. March 19, 2010 at 9:15 AM

    Very shrewd- er, no…astute. Goodness. Oh!
    Very ASTUTE observation! Thanks!

  3. March 19, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    The internet = one enormous box of shiny, shiny rabbit holes. FB is the worst of them all!

    @D – hahahaha 🙂

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