Books

Writing Words That Encourage, Enrich, and Engage

Denise M. Colby writes about The Purpose of Words in her blog post Writing Words that Encourage, Enrich, and Engage on denisemcolby.com

A part of this post was first posted on the Sliceoforange.net blog on April 12, 2018 (The Purpose of Words)

I love quotes, phrases, and how words are used to communicate. It’s fitting that at dictionary.com, the verb ‘word’ is defined as: to choose and use particular words in order to say or write something. 

Yes, as writers that is what we do. We have a lot to say and we choose our words for a reason.

I’m always amazed at how people put together their words the way they do. Many times, in my head I find I articulate well. But when I write the words down, they don’t always sound the same way they did in my head. Does anyone else struggle with this? I’m thinking I’m not the only one. Or so I hope. But, I digress.

This post is about words. 

Definitions. Synonyms. Words by themselves. Words strung together. I love words. Go figure that Words of Affirmation is my love language (if you don’t know what that means — check out the book Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Interesting insight into why and how people show love differently) and that I got my BA in Communications.

Words are a curious thing. How you say them, spell them, and use them can change what they mean. We have rules for these words and we take classes our entire school career to learn what those rules are. And yet, there’s still a variety of ways people string words together.

What makes us each use words differently? 

I don’t think it’s a new phenomenon. Diary’s and journals have been around since the beginning of time. But most of those private musings never saw the light of day. However, with the internet explosion and the plethora of blogs out there, not to mention the ease of self-publishing, anyone can express themselves however they want and post it for others to read. 

Some writers use big words that I have to mull over and think about before I can continue on, while others write in a way young kids can follow. Some use clever prose, others are straightforward. Some write very long sentences, while others write less. All. The. Time. I find I enjoy reading it all. 

There are several types of books out there that play with words. 

One book series titled, Short & Sweet, is a compilation of one page poems and stories all written in one syllable words. Each book has had a different theme.

Denise M. Colby's Poem Titled, "When God Calls", is on page 77 In this book, The Short and Sweet of It

I submitted a piece titled “When God Calls” to the third compilation, titled The Short & Sweet of It. When the Right Word is a Short Word. 

The focus of this compilation were things that matter deeply to the authors and my piece is based on the Bible verse Matthew 11:28-30 —“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

I wrote a short poem from my heart and I couldn’t be more excited as it’s my first published work. 

The book launched in April 2018, and my piece is on page 77. It’s being sold on Amazonand Barnes and Noble .

Besides one syllable word books, there are more specialized books on words. If you are anything like me, you own more than one dictionary and thesaurus. At used book stores I like to look for unique and different types of dictionaries to use for references. Recently I learned about a new word. You may have heard it before, but it’s new to me. It’s called ‘Etymology’. At first I thought it was about body parts or an animal species. It’s not! 

Etymology: the study of the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history. 

Isn’t that awesome?!

Apparently, this has been a thing for quite some time. I looked on Amazon and there are numerous books on the subject (some of which are now on my wish list). As I researched further on the internet, I found a website dedicated to the topic, https://www.etymonline.com/

For those of us who write historical, this might give us an entire new source of understanding how or why a character would use a word. My favorite part in the few words I tried out, is the listing of slang words. 

For instance, I looked up the word farm. Besides an overview on the definition it lists two slang phrases:

Fetch the farm: prisoner slang for “get sent to the infirmary” 

Buy the farm: world war II slang for “die in battle”.

Now, if I was writing a World War II piece or a Civil War piece, I might use one of these. But alas, I’m not. But, the next time I’m looking for a something more on a word, I’ll use this as a resource and see where it leads. 

All in all, words are wonderful. 

Especially when we use them to communicate to others. Whether it’s in a private letter, an article, a novel or a blog post, words are put together to read and enjoy.

Just like you read and enjoyed this post, right?

Blessings,

Denise

First Line Fridays on Denise M. Colby Blog Featured Image
First Line Fridays

First Line Fridays – 2.23.18

It’s First Line Friday time.  Here’s the book I selected for todays First Line:

Wild Montana Sky Book 1 in Montana Sky Series by Debra HollandWild Montana Sky by Debra Holland

Debra is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Montana Sky Series, a collection of heartwarming historical Western romances. Wild Montana Sky is the first in the series of ten (10)!  FYI – In 2013, Amazon selected Starry Montana Sky (#2) as one of their Top 50 Greatest Love Stories.

So here’s the first line.  Drumroll please…….

Boston, 1893

Laurence married!

Elizabeth Hamilton leaned against the blue-and-gold-papered wall of the entry hall and stared in shock at the telegram from her brother.

In return, I hope you will share the first line from any book you choose in the comments below.  And then head on over to:

First Line Friday hosted by Hoarding Books Button

Happy Reading,

Denise

First Line Fridays

First Line Fridays-1.5.18

It’s First Line Friday time!  This week it’s a line from a book I’m currently reading titled:

the story of WITH

A Better Way to Live, Love, & Create

by Allen Arnold

the story of with

This book blends storytelling and teaching, fusing allegory with application to help deepen your identity, intimacy and imagination with God.  I’m in the middle of it, so the entire impact is unclear, but already it’s spoken to my heart several times – with the evidence in how I have marked several sections to go over again.  I’ve even pulled my 2018 word for the year from this book.  It lodged itself inside my heart and left no room for discussing any other options no matter how hard I tried.

So here’s the first line.  Drumroll please…….

Mia wished her father could be with her in this moment, but she had to get through this on her own.

In return, I hope you will share the first line from any book you choose in the comments below.

And then head on over to First Line Friday

Happy Reading,

Denise

First Line Fridays

First Line Fridays – 12.8.17

First Line Fridays, Hoarding BooksWelcome to my first, First Line Friday post.  I’m excited to join in on the fun.  Each Friday I will share the first line of either a book I’m reading, have read or is in my TBR (to be read) pile.  Then in return, I hope you will share the first line from any book you want in the comments.

In the writing world, the first line is tremendously important, introducing you to the story.  It helps you settle in, knowing you have a fun adventure ahead.

So without further ado, here’s the book I’m starting off with: 

Too Far Down, by Mary Connealy:

Too Far Down, First Line Friday

February, 1881

“An explosion brought Cole Boden to his feet.”

This is book three in The Cimarron Legacy series.  There’s an overall plot carrying through the series and I’ve been waiting to see how it ends. I just might be staying up late tonight to find out!

Now it’s your turn! Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating:

First Line Friday