I love the embellishment stage of writing a novel, that point at which the story is more or less (for the time being) gelling. Early on, the focus is on structure: parts, chapters, scenes. The cast; their characteristics. As the novel evolves, the focus is closer in: on the dialogue, the paragraphs, the sentences, the words.
At this stage, I work with the on-line Oxford English Dictionary: oh, the glory of it!
Yesterday, I checked the word emotion and discovered that it’s a fairly modern word. I should not have been surprised.
This morning (it’s not even 8:00 am as I write this) (I shouldn’t be writing a blog, but getting on with The Revision) I checked the word guilty. Ah, it’s an ancient word, with a delicious pallet of colours:
plightful (I love this, and the variant plighty)
faultful (another good one)
blood-guilty (we’re getting into serious guilt, here)
obnoxious and noxious
guiltful (I do love all these “ful” words)
This last is the one I will use, at least for the time being. I hope to send this draft (#3) to my agent tomorrow. And so, guiltful for blogging, I return to my task.
(I know, I promised a post on titles…tomorrow: after I’ve sent IT off?)
Question: What ancient word do you love?
I have always liked antimassacar… a solution that outlived the problem.
Doug, I confess I had to look that up! OED: A covering thrown over cushions, sofas, chairs, etc. to protect them from grease in the hair, or other soiling, or merely as an ornament.I love the elegance of “or other soiling.”
Did you know that “macassar” was the name of a type of hair oil? Hence: ANTI-macassar. There is indeed a need for this in certain countries.
Riot (13th c), as in “The daisies ran riot in the field.”
Amanda, that’s a riot. ;-)
My most recent favorite: mundungus. As in, “Honey, please pass my pipe and mundungus.”
Oh, that’s delicious!
For those who are wondering, according to the OED, mundungus is bad-smelling tobacco. First citing is 1649: Mercurius Pragmaticus (for King Charles II) To finger up some beggarly pence towards filling?his baren brayne, with the stinking fume of Mundungus Tobacco.