Word choice makes the story better

Today is “Ink” Monday and keeping with that theme I have written a post discussing “word usage” and its many variances among different types of writing. Enjoy!


The language we have available is all that allows us to write. And yet there are some writers who use it best. I recently finished reading “At the Mountains of Madness” by H.P. Lovecraft. 

I read it in high school, which is nearly twenty years past. My writing has progressed since then–thankfully–and I can appreciate classic literature more than I did then.

Lovecraft’s word usage and the way he creates intensity, atmosphere and makes all of them meld together in such a way, that the story left me wondering why I had not read more Lovecraft. He is now on my list of writers whose style I would like to emulate.

Mostly because he uses words that you don’t see anymore. Words that left me looking for a dictionary. I thought my vocabulary was strong until Lovecraft shot that thought down.

There are others that have a strong vocabulary, Faulkner is definitely one of them. To me Faulkner always seemed to use big words for the sake of using big words with no point to their usage.

I appreciate good writing more than I did in high school. The problem with knowing good writing and bad writing, I find myself revisiting books I once loved and staring at them as if spiders crawled out of the prose.

Learning good writing from bad writing has caused damage to my movie going as well. I didn’t care what the dialogue was as long as things were blown up. Dialogue is one of the things I have worked the hardest on.

Now I go to the movies and stare at the screen at the poor writing and dialogue. I care more about all the stuff that makes a good story not just a good action movie.

I caught myself during Transformers:Dark of the Moon trying not to analyze the dialogue or anything else that seems is lacking in action movies. There are obvious exceptions to these. Among them are “The Dark Knight”, “Inception”, “The Matrix Trilogy” and “Fight Club”.

The Matrix Trilogy is one of favorites because of the philosophical and religious references made during the trilogy. I still know people who don’t “get” the Matrix movies.

The Dark Knight and Batman comics have always been among my favorite comics from DC. After the Dark Knight movie studios wanted to take their comic book franchises darker, good example of this is the forthcoming Superman:Man of Steel. Written by Jona Nolan and directed by Zack Snyder.

Inception took the story of Dante‘s descent into hell and made it possible for today’s audience to understand and like it.

Fight Club is one of my favorite books as well as favorite movies. Chuck Palahniuk’s description of everything and misleading the reader or the viewer in the case of the movie is one of the things that I loved about that book.

The things that make up a good movie as well as a good book should be the same. There should be no difference between a good book and a good story on the screen.

Everything comes back to the way words are used properly in a story, or not so properly.  Whether it is dialogue, landscape description or plot. It is the words used that push a story along.

If using a word doesn’t push the story along and it is merely there to use a big word what is the point of using it?


This entry was posted in books, Movies, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Word choice makes the story better

  1. Lari says:

    I love how Lovecraft describes the “grotesque penguins” in “Mountains of Madness.” Among other things. . . 🙂

    • BB_Baker says:

      The way he describes the ancient city with its drawings, sculptures and reliefs was one of favorite. The grotesque albino penguins was very interesting. Thanks for the comment Lari

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