Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Word Monogamy

So, I've been writing like a crazed woman.  Head bent over laptop, warning sign posted on my door, eyes glazed over and brain in book world.  I tend to write for hours, without going back, without pausing to breathe (okay, maybe I breathe, but I do forget to eat).  But before every writing session, I go back to read what's come before, not necessarily to edit myself, but to get back into the feel of the story so the continuity will continue to flow.

Here's where I found the problem.  I've been falling in love with one particular word every writing session.  What I mean is, I use a word over and over, until you'd think I was married to it.  It's in every second or third paragraph.  It's like I can't let the word go.  But then I get all fickle - which is actually a good thing with this problem - and find a new word to be monogamous with in the next writing jag.  I just can't figure out why.

It's not like I have a limited vocabulary.  Okay, maybe it's that I like to think I don't have a limited vocabulary.  Whatever.  The fact is, I know at least four different variations of the word blue.  I can recite them right now.  So why do I become obsessed with the word blue?  Other, more complicated and less complicated words, like independent, or secrecy, or, heck, even hard, have been subjected to my constant keyboard abuse.  There are other ways to say it, but my brain just latches on like a rat terrier and won't ease off the jugular.

I'm beginning to suspect it's because I become so focused on all those other words that I have this word monogamy problem.  My mind says, "Hey, if I gotta work so darn hard on all this other stuff, then you've got to let me glitch and burp on something."  And without conscious thought, it randomly chooses a word and that's that, at least for the few hours I'm hunkered down over the bright glow of the monitor.  I suppose it could be worse.  At least I have a thesaurus handy.  Plus I can probably tell you the origins of the word extraordinary, not to mention spout out several synonyms.  Does that make me a grammar geek?  I thought so.

Anybody else have this word monogamy issue?

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