Today’s word is sockdolager: a decisive blow.
When he first wrote it, I asked if it had to do with drinking beer in your socks. He didn’t find my comment particularly funny. I don’t think he had enough coffee today.
Alan, he assures me this word is not in Televators.
I’ll tell you a secret, I wrote one hell of a scene yesterday. I sniffled, quite a lot. It’s kind of embarrassing that I cried over my own story. I’m telling you anyway, because that’s just the kind of gal I am.
For better or worse, I’m a discovery writer. I don’t really know what’s going to happen next, and I think that’s why this particular scene hit me so hard. The previous scene had been light, cheerful even–quite the feat considering how dark the story is overall. There’s a moment when Brand is sure he knows what’s going on, and something soul-crushing happens instead. I think I nailed it.
I realized after I reread it that scenes where something terrible happens are so much more memorable. The truly awful things that happened in books I really loved are what I remember most. I guess we’re wired to remember the bad things better, because it even happens in life. Do you remember the last really great day you had? I’d wager not. You remember the last abysmal one though, don’t you? It seems like the really painful stuff touches us at a deeper level, too. When someone you know or a character in a book overcomes something huge and terrible, the triumph is so much more poignant.
I was scared that anything I wrote today wouldn’t measure up, but today’s words came easily, more easily than any in the last few weeks. I guess crying resets those creative circuits.
Today’s word is sobriquet, a fancy word for nickname.
I know he didn’t intend it, but Ryan picked a great word for me to blog today. My current WIP, Broods of Fenrir, has undertones of Norse mythology and culture. In the Norse sagas, characters can have several different names. They used both shortened forms of actual names and descriptive names (if you don’t understand what I mean by that, check out kennings at wikipedia). I’ve tried to embrace this affectation in my story, but sometimes it’s difficult to keep track of the different names.
Let me give you an example. The main character goes by the name of Brand. His actual name is Brandúlfr Geirson. Literally, his name is Sword-wolf, son of the Spear. While a character in the book might call him any of those names, they might also call him: Black Wolf, Black Sword, or Spear’s get. You get the idea now. I could go crazy making up all these names and trying to keep track. I’ve kept the number of names for everyone but Brand low (two at most), but I figured with him I could get away with a few more.
I’ve been thinking a lot about themes. A critter remarked that my were-story seemed to have a door theme. It was nothing that I did intentionally, but for some reason my MC was always confronting people at doors or knocking on doors, or opening doors. I think there is a significant door in almost every chapter in the first six, maybe even more than one in some. I’ll have to go back and count to be sure. Anyway, I thought this was interesting. Mostly because the theme of moving through doorways suits him. Now I’m thinking of intentionally developing that theme somehow, but I’m a little weary of just jumping in and starting because it might seem contrived. I guess it would help if I actually knew where the story was going, huh?
Come to think of it, this is the farthest I have ever gotten in a story without knowing where I would end up. I had a pretty good idea about the end fairly early on in of both of my “finished” novels. It’s a bit disconcerting to have no idea where I’m going. To add to my troubles, this MC is stubborn. He’s always charging around doing things out of my control. I suppose it’s my own hubris that has brought me to this. A few months ago I was telling my husband that my characters never went about doing their own thing. I didn’t even understand how authors could complain about that, because mine always behaved. Until this pesky werewolf, anyway!
Ah well, I’ll figure him and his doors out eventually. It’s just a matter of time.