"Your diction, the exact words you choose and the settings in which you use them, means a great deal to the success of your writing. While your language should be appropriate to the situation, that generally still leaves plenty of room for variety. Skillful writers mix general and particular, abstract and concrete, long and short, learned and commonplace, connotative and neutral words to administer a series of small but telling surprises. Readers stay interested because they don't know exactly what's coming next." (Joe Glaser, Understanding Style: Practical Ways to Improve Your Writing. Oxford Univ. Press, 1999)
Diction determines mood, tone, setting...everything. Words are powerful.
Often when an artist paints, he or she will use a palette, a thin, oblong wooden board with a small hole for the thumb to mix the primary and secondary colors of paint into a variety of shades and hues in order to create a precise color or realistic portrayal for the audience. Writers use words in much the same way. The more words a writer has on his palette, the more meaning he or she will be able to convey to the reader.
Last modified: Thursday, 14 June 2012, 4:20 PM