IWSG August 2019: Using Words

Are you one of those people who thinks that the people close to you should know what you need without your saying it?

This post was written for The Insecure Writer's Support Group monthly blogging event and brought to you by founder and writer Alex J Cavanaugh. This month Alex has the help of these co-hosts: Renee Scattergood, Sadira Stone, Jacqui Murray, Tamara Narayan, and LG Keltner! Go check them out, today. The IWSG helpful question for this month, should participants wish to use it: Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you'd forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming?
Are we using our words effectively? If we're predictable enough then those close to us might know our needs without our saying them. Often they do not.  

People are poor communicators. I’m the first to hold my hand up when the role is called. Therefore, it stands to reason that poor communication skills in story writing can be disastrous.
Imagine that you witness an individual huffing and puffing while leaving a room that you are in. Is that person angry, do they have a lung disease, or is he the Big Bad Wolf up to no good? What if a person cries? Are they happy, sad or just cry once a day for no reason? The crying person might have just received a text from one of the three pigs that that two of their pig family died at the paws of the Big Bad Wolf (sad).  They could be crying because the Big Bad Wolf has died instead of their pig family (happy). 
Just as actions can be misinterpreted so can words. As writers, we need to use the right words to help our reader see, feel and imagine our story. We need to ask ourself if the reader will get our meaning. I love reading words that transport me through a story that unfolds organically but also yanks my emotional chain. I want to feel invested.
Stories that use show and tell but leave some information for the reader's interpretation are the best. Using the right words to set this up is called success.  
Need help with your writing?  


  1. With my family , if I don't tell them then they don't know what is right or wrong in my life.
    Loved the four tips at the end of post.


  2. Words on paper are so easy to misinterpret as there is no visual to give clues.

  3. It's tricky, for sure! You really have to have a balance there between spelling it all out and letting the reader interpret the scene for themselves. Good pointers here. :)

  4. Hi Teresa - thinking before we speak is a challenge ... but when we write we can make sure we use sensible and non-combative phrasing ... those links look useful - cheers Hilary


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