Word and Story Hunter, a New Series of Posts on Writing

Word of the Week: Yen

A yen is a strong desire, urge, or craving for something.

I have a yen to discover the right word the first time I write a draft of my work, but the reality is I often find a beautiful word that fits and then reuse it multiple times in a page of my rough draft writing. It’s kind of embarrassing when I’m caught, so I must hunt for the right synonyms or even rewrite complete sentences to keep my writing from falling into unplanned repetition.

This hunt led me to stary wryly calling myself a Word Hunter. I used it on my name badge at Realm Makers 2022 and guess what? People asked me about it. When I tried to explain that I used it as a way of reminding myself of my need to hunt out new words for my writing, they seemed surprised. I suppose the phrase could imply I have a robust vocabulary. I have a decent reading vocabulary, but when it comes to writing or speaking, I have a tendency to stick to words I can pronounce easily.

This experience led me to think about the phrase, but I didn’t want to strike it from my name badge. I had a yen to be worthy of it. I started thinking about what it means to hunt for something, to forage into the underbrush, and stalk the wily prey of wild words, and I decided it did fit, not only with individual words, but with the way I write stories.

Often, I am minding my own business, walking along, when a story startles out of the underbrush like a wild rabbit, but then, it goes still, frozen and staring at me in shock, trying to figure out if it should flee or stay.

So, I gaze at the story sideways, writing quietly through the ramifications of different plot angles and hoping it doesn’t race away before I can at least capture its likeness in a picture.

And so, this is the beginning of my Word and Story Hunter Series of posts, where I will do my best to capture the phrases, words, ideas, and momentary enjoyments of my writing hunt. Each post will be short. Each might be a wee bit random, as ideas leap through my mind.

Next Wednesday is the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day, but the rest of the Wednesdays in December will be dedicated to jumping jots about being a Word and Story Hunter.

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