Monday, May 9, 2011


If you're a writer, I know that at some point you've struggled to find the exact words needed to share your thoughts or feelings. Not just any words will do. The right words can help your readers see the world in a new and unexpected way. Stephen Lawhead, author of The Paradise War, describes the power of the language in his fictional world below:

"there were no dead words. No words that had suffered the ignorant predation of a semiliterate media, or had their substance leached away through gross misuse; no words rendered meaningless through overuse, or cheapened through bureacratic doublespeak. Consequently, the speech of Albion was a valued currency, a language alive with meaning: poetic, imagaic, bursting with rhythm and sound. When the words were spoken aloud, they possessed the power to touch the heart as well as the head: they spoke to the soul."

I want to give that type of language to my characters, my story world!

Any tips on how you find the right words?

Or if you're a reader, would you share an example of a fiction book where the words reached out and grabbed you?


  1. As a writer of speculative fiction, I employ several "character names" books that also have ideas for verbs, adjectives, etc for creating worlds. It's called the "Extraordinary Book of Names." I have several other similar resources for that was well. WD has a book like this as well.

  2. I love those types of resources and haven't heard of that one. My daughter writes and reads speculative fiction, Darren. Thanks for the tip! Have you read the The Paradise War by Lawhead?

  3. It's on my list, but not towards the top. I know his books sell well, however. WD has a Character naming sourcebook and there are several "board gaming" refrence books that have source books of this nature.

  4. Read my blog this Friday the 13th for one way to glean great words. . . :-)