Guilty: sakful, saked, culpable, plightful …

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.

Swallowed In The Sea

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?

{photo credit}