On Words: Powerful or Powerless

Words. Writers write a lot of these.

A. E. here. I have a series on this blog I call “A. E. C. On Writing,” and its basically when I tackle a subject that deals with writing and writing life, and talk about it, maybe give advice or go on a rant, whichever it may be.

Today I wanted to talk On Words. Words are the bread and butter of storytelling, especially if we’re talking about written modes of storytelling, leaving aside visual and musical mediums for this blog.

There’s a phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword” and while I’m not about to debate the truthfulness of the statement, I want to acknowledge it. Words are powerful. Words can be very, very powerful, if used right and wielded with that intention.

Another phrase that I’ve always felt oddly about is “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Personally I think it should be “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will forever hurt me.” There’s things people have said to me that I still remember, that still have their mark on me, and it was years ago.

Words can change how people think and feel, not only about themselves but about situations, laws, politics, religion, wedding vows, naming a baby, writing an epitaph/obituary, the list probably goes on and on.

But as a writer who’s purpose is telling stories, be it a novel, novella, short story, poem, screenplay, then I kind of come at words a bit differently. Because really, words are words and we decide what they mean. When we’re writing, we should be playing with the words, giving them power or not, taking control of them or letting them take control of us.

Did this get kinda preachy? Maybe, and apologies. But I kind of just want us to realize the power of words. We can make whatever we want happen, happen, and happen exactly the way we want it to happen. We create with words. This page was blank before I began to put words down.

So, what power do words mean for you? Have you heard words that cut you down into pieces? Or been uplifted to great heights by a simple sentence? When you’re writing, do you choose words that can pierce a reader’s soul? Have you read a story that got so close to home you nearly cried?

If a story doesn’t make me feel something then it’s failed as a story. I guess I should talk more on what I think makes a story another time.

Well, that’s all for this post! Maybe tell me in the comments about powerful vs. powerless words in your experience!

And as always, while I write my cat Aomine keeps me company by my side.

that’s my sweet little girl. have no idea what I’ll do without her

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Tira says:

    Like you I have scars from words spoken years ago. I also have warmth in my heart from words that lifted me up and hug me in love. There are stories and songs whose words that touch me so deeply that I carry them with me always. Some word change who you are inside forever. While some words pass unnoticed. The power of Words has always been magic to me. I have read words that have made me drop books because of how intense and how deep I had gotten into the story. I have had emotions tied to books well after I finished it. I have cried for characters. I have felt pride for their accomplishments. I have also mourned having leaving a given world at the end of book. Still other book I have forgotten minutes after the last page. I try to write words that that are relatable that a reader can feel something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A sentiment beautifully shared. Yes there are words said to me so hurtful that they’ve shaped the way I see myself forever. There’s books who’s well-wrought language has haunted me, shaken me, inspired me. Some words leave me questioning the state of humanity while others affirming that there is hope for the future. And yeah, some books remain with me and others disappear entirely from my mind. When I write, I strive to be as descriptive as possible and play a movie in my reader’s minds


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