Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Vocabulary 101: Walk
Readers will easily tire of plain words. One of the biggest and most boring culprits is the word 'walk'. There are so many ways and styles of walking. Each of them convey a more detailed understanding of the characters state of mind. For instance, some characters meander, others stroll, and the really confident ones strut. Clumsy characters stumble, sneaky characters tiptoe, angry characters trudge, others sashay, stomp, trample, roam, lumber, hoof it, bounce, wander, trot... you get it--there are many words that easily replace 'walk.'
Finding the right word can really make a difference in your story. Also, it can speak to the characters mood or personality. If your character usually strolls and now they are stomping, your audience understands that something has changed. The light and care free mood has been replaced by anger.
Being able to identify the best word also plays into the idea of showing your audience what is happening, rather than telling them. A writer does not need to tell their readers that the character is mad. It is much more effective to show a character stomp in and then slam a door behind them.