As a writer my constant challenge is to find the exact words to convey the feelings, emotions, and tension I’m striving to bring to a scene. I never fully succeed. I’m not sure any writer does.
Don’t misunderstand…I’m a good writer and I know how to write strong scenes, but I’ve never found a way to take the white-hot images in my head and write about them with the same intensity. The scenes turn out all right because I keep working on them until I’m satisfied. But they never fully capture what my imagination has developed. They’re good, but somehow less.
I’m not a wordsmith, but I do have a good vocabulary. I can’t write the soaring prose of a Faulkner. I’ll never match the magnificent opening paragraph of The Haunting of Hill House penned by the incomparable Shirley Jackson. What I can do is build a compelling story using the skills I have. I find the use of character dialogue and inner monologue particularly effective in bridging the gap between what is in my mind and what I’m able to actually get down on paper. It gives life and dimension to the characters and the story.
The English language is a beautiful thing, but it is lacking in some respects. There are no words to adequately describe what I feel when I hear a certain song, when I see the image of a father holding his new baby or sharing a special moment with his child, when I see a frightened animal starving and alone. Maybe that’s why I’ve never written the perfect scene. There aren’t words for everything I feel.
A final thought…the president of the United States doesn’t read. I have no words for that either.