Words are important.
Words convey information, thoughts, feelings, and ideals.
In fiction, a reader expects an honesty laying beneath the words. Yes, we use techniques to get our point across or to divulge the intentions of characters, whether good or evil, etc., but the overall work intends to tell a truth. We use villains and heroes and show the struggle with a pace towards a truth defined by the author.
Here are a few. Check them out here at literarydevices.net if you don’t already use them:
- metaphor and simile
- amplification (use of repetition for intensity)
- alliteration (words or phrases beginning with the same sound and/or consonant)
- epigraph (inserting a famous quote)
- hyperbole (often adds comedic relief)
- antanagoge (balance the negative with positive)
- personification (giving a nonhuman, human characteristics)
- procatalepsis (anticipates potential objection, giving a quick argument to strengthen the point)
- juxtaposition (comparing and contrasting)
- oxymoron (using two words that are opposite each other for effect, like deafening silence…)
Many other devices are used to steer the reader down the path we intend them to wander. We desire them to understand our meaning, pose a point of view, want to persuade the reader of a truth, or sway their opinion.
Some writers prefer to present only the facts and allow the reader to decide the truth for themselves. But even though a writer claims to remain neutral, it’s often not accomplished. It’s difficult not to insert our point of view, even if done without intent.
Words lead us down a righteous road or on its opposite, a wayward path. They paint a picture and tell a tale or shape the facts to fit a narrative. Articulate people win arguments with words. They yield power with the symphonic paragraphs that touch the audience’s heart. Using that power comes with responsibility.
Truth is important.
The reading public depends on the writer to tell a story derived from the unique but true experience. Expectations are high, the audience wants to believe the teller, and to be fed a truthful scenario that’s relatable. As of late, many journalists have failed the public. Some have hidden important truths for a headliner and clicks. In the end, readers will see the flaw and stop reading. They lost reputations when designated as a liar.
Light focuses on the truth when facts surface, and we enlighten readers with the reality that resonates once the dust settles. As we write our stories, let’s remind ourselves of the truth. Whether our words ring about good vs. evil, life vs. death, sound vs silence, tyranny vs. liberty. Ask if you deceive your readers or if you write about the truth underneath your work.
Fiction or not, our words matter. Don’t stay muted when someone misuses the words in a power play, changing the meaning and the truth behind the word.