Word Choice Matters


Word Choice Matters
Sentences Build Paragraphs 

by Deborah Lyn Stanley

Writers need to develop a strong vocabulary for building up the many facets of storytelling and article writing. Word lists of favorite, unusual, fun sounding words to compose a selected topic helps. Test the flow of sounds and experiment using some for creativity in your next piece. Expand your reading collection with classical, by-gone authors, to become familiar with how they expressed dialogue and scenes in their day, or lyrical stories and poems. Jot down words of interest. Note them in your Commonplace book, and create a collage of word pictures to describe scenes.

Enlarging your vocabulary with lively and interesting expressions, and writing like your natural speaking voice, is engaging. It’s a good way to empower your articles or poems.
Just write, remembering we always follow with revision and polish to honor clarity and communicate well with readers.

My Commonplace book includes a long word list of random words I’ve noticed while reading—including ones I am not familiar with, seeming unique, especially in the way used. These can be a welcome addition to my usual; for example; sweet Elysium (paradise), rose-colored visions, desecration, petitions, syncopation, provincial, and sexton.  You might also, choose topical words for particular projects, such as tranquility, shelter, botanical or courage.
Try it. You’re sure to be inspired!

Writers Read!

Sentences Build Paragraphs:
Effective communication elements: Clarity, Coherence, Control, and Credibility are key.
Points to Consider:
1.    Clarity—Help your reader by telling them where you are going, the information you plan to present, and offer your conclusion.
2.    The three-part paragraph structure gives a map for topic, development & resolution.
3.    Coherence—Paragraphs help to contain your thoughts. You may have several points in a paragraph, but in a unifying theme, each sentence supports that focal point.
4.    A natural, coherent flow to a paragraph begins with the first sentence; so, reorder the sentences of your paragraph if needed. A logical order of things leads to what comes next.
5.    Control—You are in control of the pace of your piece. Use paragraphical emphasis: longer is slower, shorter is faster.
6.    Credibility results from several things: language, knowledge of the subject, word choice, and your writer’s voice.
7.    The better you know your audience, the more successful you will be in delivering your information.

Write Sentences
Think in Paragraphs

Revision & Polish Tips:
1.    Keep the focus, the theme, of the piece consistent throughout,
2.    Sentence structure: a subject—a noun or pronoun, and a predicate/verb that explains what the subject is doing,
3.    Use nouns rather than adjectives and remove over used adjectives such as very,
4.    Verbs are where the action is—choose strong ones,
5.    Avoid adverbs that diminish the strength of a sentence.
6.    Vary sentence length within the piece.
7.    Make it personal and professional, convey the message, be specific.

Helpful Tools:
Melissa Donovan’s 10 Core Practices for Better Writing https://www.writingforward.com/books/10-core-practices-for-better-writing

Mastering the Craft of Writing by Stephen Wilbers 
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Craft-Writing

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories

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Valerie's Literary Links said...

I enjoyed everything about this post: the advise, the links and the heart behind the words. Thank you!

Karen Cioffi said...

Deborah, wonderful post. I love how words create sentences that create paragraphs that make chapters that turn into a book. And every word does matter.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I'm a fellow word fan, Deborah Lyn. And sentence and paragraph. May I suggest one of my fun activities that keeps me learning more? WordGenius. Just a couple minutes a day from Merriam-Webster. I play the quick game each day, (about 30 seconds), but I also read the lead article. Today's is a list of foreign words most of us use every day. Sometimes it's a nice reminder. Sometimes I learn something new!
Hugs to all my fellow words....
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

deborah lyn said...

Thank you for commenting!
Each one is helpful to me!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...


Linda Wilson said...

Thank you, Deborah, for a very helpful post. I once heard an editor say in a talk that if you look up words in the dictionary (without complaint), then you love words. It's so true! I play a word game every: Words with Friends. Can't get enough of 'em!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Linda. Oh, please give us the name of your word game. Or the URL!

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