The power of words

Youthwrite camp, Day Two: 
The power (and magic) of words.

You can put all kinds of magical creatures or events into a story, but the most important kind of magic for a writer to keep in mind is the magic of language. 

As writers we need to think carefully and deeply about the words and sentences we use.That's where the power to enchant readers and hold their interest is going to come from.

Exercise: think of a word. Any word. 

Write it down. Don't tell anyone else in the class what your word is.

This is your “magic word” for the day. 

Now keep the word in your thoughts for a whole day. Ponder it. In conversation, use it in as many sentences as you can. 

At the end of the day, write a short piece (story, essay, descriptive passage, what have you) in which you don’t use the word. And yet your magic word should be at the heart of the piece, so that if anyone was to read it the word should come to mind for them.

Image: detail from "Method & Madness" by Gabe Wong at the Art Gallery of Alberta

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