Friday, March 1, 2013

Putting Your Best Word Forward

 By Maggie

Words: the tools of the writer’s trade. Words, warm, wicked, or winsome, pay the bills or leave us wondering where our work fell short in an editor’s eyes. Classes on good writing tell us each word, in our fiction or nonfiction, is important. The wrong word choice can change the meaning of a sentence. The wrong sentence can change the direction of a story. The misplaced paragraph can be a decided fuhgettaboutit, sending our manuscript to the big recycle bin at the end of our road.

When your words are nothing short of inspired in your eyes, how do you know if that’s actually the truth? You get a good critique group of honest but constructive readers, a writing partner who will keep you and your words rolling, a professional editor to help plug up the holes in a much too drafty first draft. And you go to classes taught by successful authors who are expert at using their words to paint masterpieces, such as Creating Vivid Worlds by instructor Laura Resau. This essential class is presented by Northern Colorado Writers in Fort Collins, Colorado on March 9th. For more information on this class and the fabulous annual conference next month, go to

Now, some blast-from-the-past word fun.
Shakespeare Insult Kit (short list)

Combine one word from each of the three columns below, preface with Thou, and say it out loud with total Bard attitude.

Column 1                    Column 2                 Column 3
artless                       base-court                apple-john
bawdy                      bat-fowling               baggage
beslubbering            beef-witted                barnacle
bootless                    beetle-headed           bladder
churlish                    boil-brained              boar-pig
cockered                  clapper-clawed         bugbear
clouted                     clay-brained             bum-bailey
craven                      common-kissing       canker-blossom
currish                      crook-pated              clack-dish
dankish                    dismal-dreaming       clotpole
dissembling             dizzy-eyed                 coxcomb
droning                    doghearted                 codpiece
errant                       dread-bolted              death-token
fawning                   earth-vexing              dewberry
fobbing                    elf-skinned                flap-dragon
froward                   fat-kidneyed               flax-wench

Are you putting your best word forward?

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