Keeping Language Alive

I love words. I love experimenting with them. My favorite author is E.A. Poe because he uses familiar words in ways I never thought of. I was blown away by Prince of Thorns because the language was gritty; it had a bite to it- same with Anne Bishop's The Black Jewels and Ephemera series. I love reading works where the author uses creative ways to get a simple point across- without drawing out the scene unnecessarily.

I want to write beautiful language with an attitude. Some parts of my novel make me smile because (I don't mean to brag) the language is amazing. It's exactly the style I love. Keeping it alive for several hundred pages is turning out to be one impressive obstacle.

For some scenes, the language pops but the majority of the novel is less than ordinary. I have this problem with my short stories too but it's easier to edit language for only 20 pages. Even then, it takes a long time and a lot of thesaurus consulting (usually more than one). I think for my novel, I'll do it by chapter. I may need to focus on language exclusively. I've never tried it but it may work. What do you think? Does anyone else have this problem?


  1. I think it depends on whether you are going for literary or commercial. I write commercial manuscripts, so while language is still important, it's not as painstakingly crucial as for literary works.

  2. I know what you mean about really liking your own words! I am the same way! My biggest problem with editing isn't so much language, but that I can't visualize my scenes well, so I have to go back and add more content. With my first draft, I tend to just go with it and not think very much. Good luck!


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