So I got up “early” this morning (read: not five minutes before I have to leave for work) so that I could write something, but now I’m going to scrap that something in favor of something else. See, I opened up Firefox this morning and saw my Google quote of the day (yeeeeah….I’m a certifiable nerd), courtesy of Stephen King:
“Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.”
At first I thought, okay, fair enough. I see what he’s saying. If you have to search for something it’s probably not going to be the most natural word in the sentence, it might obscure the meaning, it isn’t necessary, blah blah blah.
But then I thought, hang on. Stephen’s success is undeniable, but it’s not for his, er, literary prowess that he’s famous so much as for his accessibility. Am I wrong? Am I missing something brilliant about the way he crafts phrases? Because last time I checked, I wouldn’t actually want to write like Stephen, no matter how much I’d love to reach his level of (monetary) achievement.
(And do you know what? I just used an online thesaurus to find an alternative to the word “success” (“achievement”) because, frankly, it’s earlier than I’m usually up and my brain isn’t working properly and SUE ME, STEPHEN.)
My writing process has changed over the years, though not drastically, but I’ll tell you one way in which it has: I’m a more careful writer today. Part of what I do when I write something which isn’t rushed and ranty (i.e. this) is spend a lot of time considering individual words. I will actually stop halfway through a sentence and reconsider one word because the rhythm is off, say. And in instances like that I find searching for synonyms is not so much like searching for answers as for inspiration.
So in short, I beg to differ, Stephen.