This week has been a busy one, writing-wise. I've been attending WriteOnCon, which is a free, online writers conference for people who write for children (PB, MG, YA). If you write for kids and didn't attend, get thee to the website and read through everything, because there was some seriously good info there.
I also entered my query and first page for an agent/reader crit over at Mother. Write. Repeat. From both of these wonderful sources, I gleaned one very important piece of information. The query I've been using (the umpteenth rewrite of said query) sucks hard. Turns out it's not easy to write a query for a multiple POV book. Who knew? (Me, that's who.) There were, however, some very kind words offered on my first pages, so that was good.
Speaking of words... (See what I did there?)
In two completely unrelated places, I heard two completely unrelated people say that they swear all the time and never worry about it because curse words are "just words." The implication being that words are words and it doesn't matter which ones you use, none should be more offensive or inoffensive than another. And I went postal. Mentally. I would never do that literally, FBI, so just get off my back! *ahem*
But seriously, just words? There are no "just words."
Words are the audible embodiment of thoughts and feelings. Every word uttered has an effect on someone, even if you're talking to yourself. You don't stub your toe and say, Oh HAM, that hurt! Because the word ham does not provide the same level of catharsis as, say, a good old-fashioned f-bomb.
Similarly, you don't propose to your sweetheart by telling them you're fond of them. Because your sweetheart is not in Gone with the Wind and would generally prefer that you love them. It's not just a word, its an expression of emotion, and it stirs emotion in others.
Listen, I'm not saying everyone should drop curse words from their vocabulary, quite the opposite. Curse all you want (but not in the mall, please, my kids don't need to hear that). But suggesting that Bruce Willis's career would have been the same if his line had been, "Yippee-ki-yay, buddy boy," is just silly.
Words are important. And I'm not just saying that because I hope to make them my bread and butter some day.
*steps off high horse*
Right. Exercise time.
Write a scene between a man and a woman where traditional gender roles are reversed. You can extend this to other traditionally disparate groups, as well (i.e. parent/child).
What are some of your favorite words?