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Importance of Word Choice - Famous Quotes

"Then you should say what you mean," the March Hare went on.

"I do," Alice hastily replied; "at least I mean what I say...that's the same thing, you know."

"Not the same thing a bit!" said the Hatter. "You might just as well say that 'I see what I eat' is the same thing as 'I eat what I see'!"
- Lewis Carroll

Good writing is all about word choice, anybody that spends any time reading will know that word choice can change scenes dramatically.  Word choice is the difference between a great piece of writing and a mediocre piece.

A lot of it comes down to your audience, you should use different language if you are writing for children compared to young adults for example.  Sometimes though there are just books that feel badly written but get a lot of attention because of their content.  The example that comes to mind is E. L. James' Fifty Shades series, I bought all three books when their was a big hype over them a few years back.  

I started reading the first book with an open mind - I have to say I wasn't expecting much - but I never got past chapter ten.  The story wasn't something I would normally be interested in and I thought the writing itself was very poor.  If it had been written better I probably would have finished the story, but as a reader I find it incredibly difficult to continue reading something that is badly written even when the story interests me let alone when it doesn't.

I have decided to demonstrate the importance of word choice by using famous quotes and rewording them to show the impact the word choice has.

Famous Quotes
"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."
- John Lennon
Life is what happens when you're busy manufacturing other plan.

"Get busy living or get busy dying."
- Stephen King
Get busy existing or get busy decaying.

As you can see in the above examples the words in the quotes make more sense in the context that they were originally written.  They only way to get better with word choice is through reading other writer's work.  Writing critiques has helped me a lot along the way on to start noticing better word choices, is a great website to write critiques and have critiques written by other writers on your work too.

If you are interested in being a writer you should definitely check out Critique Circle to hone your skill when it comes to your own word choice.


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