Get to Know the Authors

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 1 Listen to Your Language

Use Your Ears Before You Write
by Tamara

The premise for this exercise is that listening makes us better writers. Paying attention to individual words and how we say them, knowing the verbal power of a word and using it accordingly, can have an impact, for better or worse, on the reader.

Exercise: Playing around with titles. Changing words to hear the effect on sound and meaning.

Jane Austen’s Persuasion as How Do You Like Me Now?
Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe as Wilfred*
*This is actually the first name of the book’s heroic lead “Wilfred of Ivanhoe.” Something about the three syllables makes it so much more interesting, would you agree?
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter as The Crimson Letter
Suzanne Collins’ Catching Fire as Catching Heat

I do wonder when it comes to well-known titles if changing them up ‘sounds’ dissonant because of how accustomed we are to hearing them. But clearly, the right word in the right place can make all the difference. Just ask Ivanhoe.

Nice sounding words (to me)

auspicious  adj. 1. attended by favorable circumstances 2. marked by success
rhymes with delicious, what’s not to like?

myopia noun 1. nearsightedness, lack of imagination, foresight, or intellectual insight.
Basically, I’m afraid of this—lacking imagination and foresight—but I still love the sound of this word. If it didn’t have such a negative definition, I might have chosen it as a name for a child. Then I would have had to homeschool.

euphonious adj 1. (of sound, especially speech) pleasing to the ear

I don’t actually like the sound of this word, I just thought it was apropos for the exercise ;)


What is one of your favorite sounding words? 
Play with a title and see how it changes the meaning and emotion, share your example.

VALERIE: I love the word epiphany. That could totally have been one of your children's names. :)

PEGGY: One of my favorites is laborious. I just think it's fun to say and no one expects it. 

VALERIE: Not to belabor the point, but note to Tamara: Don't name your child Laborious, even if it was an especially difficult labor.

PEGGY: Child named Epiphany = laborious explanations
how about: LaBeau Ruiz or E. Piffany as pen names...

No comments:

Post a Comment