Words matter. Too often it is easier to write too many words than it is to find the right word. The troubling thing for me is an inability to find the correct word to continue this post.
Pay attention to what people say. Pay attention to how people tell a story. Remember each character is a person that exists beyond the page. Each should have their own voice and own history. Each region of the country has subtle differences in the words they choose for very common sayings. I’ve said on more than one occasion the phrase “I’m fixin’ to.” It is accepted parlance in Texas and the gulf states. It does not mean that I am about to do something. It means that I am thinking about getting ready to do something. People in other parts of the country and the world can have difficulty with the word. “So, if you’re fixing to do something then you are going to do it?”
“No, I’m fixin’ to do it. But right now I am burdened with the multitude of problems this existence can deposit on a man. I know I need to mow the lawn and it is one of my many worries. I might look like an immovable object glued to the sofa, but behind this immobility is a man of action that will jump into the lawn mowing fray and I am contemplating the right time to do it. So, if you ask me when I plan to get off my backside and mow the lawn, I will let you know I’m fixin’ to.”
Some links on language:
http://jonathongreen.co.uk/timelines/. – This is a slang lexicographer and he has some very cool timelines detailing when slang terms entered the language. The timelines can be found at the Timeglider links below.