Using Words: The Writer's Resource; How I Value & Use Words to Create a piece of Writing: Response to a Challenge

Meaning of Words

Do they really mean that?!
Do they really mean that?! | Source

The Challenge

We have another challenge at hubpages and I can’t resist! Marilyn aka mdavisattiers has asked us to consider ‘Words’ in her hub:

She states:

“I'm always amazed how each writer takes the same words and creates a completely different story. Some educate, others enchant and a few entertain. Which category is most authentic for you?

This challenge is to write about how you value, use and create your finished piece using our common denominator - words.”

Here is my response.

Words & the Wordsmith

I am a writer, a wordsmith, a seamstress of syllables. I am a journeyman through time, an archivist and a devil’s advocate. I lead you to places unknown, unlock your senses and feed your thirst for adventure.

Back in Time

Excerpt from a story in response to one of Bill Holland's challenges
Excerpt from a story in response to one of Bill Holland's challenges | Source

Baubles, Foliage & Dungeons

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Orchestrated OpalescenceDismal Dregs of DeathLuscious Layered Lullaby
Orchestrated Opalescence
Orchestrated Opalescence | Source
Dismal Dregs of Death
Dismal Dregs of Death | Source
Luscious Layered Lullaby
Luscious Layered Lullaby | Source

Weave a Fabric

To succeed in entertaining, informing, educating or enchanting, I need to weave the fabric of a story, sew the seams of an illustrative cloth or link a jigsaw of words to reveal the pattern, all in such a way that the reader is not only involved but absorbed.

So I rummage through the library of vocabulary in my brain or, when I need help, a thesaurus. I choose the brightest baubles, the most fecund foliage, the darkest dungeons and I make them slaves to my whim.

Two-way Respect

I want to attain the highest standard possible, to be satisfied I’ve offered my best. Readers expect to be entertained, informed, educated or enchanted and they deserve respect. Writers, in turn, earn respect by delivering only the cream of their work. Nothing less will do.

Quality & Appeal

As when buying clothes I expect to have value for money, quality material and a good fit, so must I craft my words to please the eye, appeal to the soul, flatter the intellect and even satisfy present fashion.

Fashion, though, demands a certain style and that can be dangerous for a writer. We have our own styles, our own voice and we should stick to what works for us, what distinguishes us from the rest. Our fashion of writing, our voice, should stand the ravages of time. I can slant my subjects to appease fashion but I won’t sacrifice my voice.


From my response to one of Frank Atanacio's challenges
From my response to one of Frank Atanacio's challenges | Source

Power & Nuance

Words are power. They are magical, rich in meaning, manipulative, persuasive and emotive. The magic spins your imagination and flings you into another world. The richness can take your breath away, give you phrases to delight or to disgust.

Nuances in meaning stir the brain into machinations never before experienced. Your mind can be controlled, send you to places you don’t want to go, make your skin crawl, your heart beat and your tears flow. Then the words pull back the pendulum to lift your spirits, make you smile and put a twinkle in your eye.

All this I must try to do if my writing is to be valued, enjoyed and, above all, if it is to last longer than the time taken to read it.

Wrap your Story in.....

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Tapestry: Weave the magic of rich intracacies!Silk: Slip into the sumptuous blend!Tarpaulin: Dare to lift the stark tarp?
Tapestry: Weave the magic of rich intracacies!
Tapestry: Weave the magic of rich intracacies! | Source
Silk: Slip into the sumptuous blend!
Silk: Slip into the sumptuous blend! | Source
Tarpaulin: Dare to lift the stark tarp?
Tarpaulin: Dare to lift the stark tarp? | Source

Traps & Tapestries

So I must choose precise, pertinent, powerful words. I must avoid clichés to create new images and feelings with which my reader can identify.

Then I need to fabricate the cloth my words will be wrapped in, lie upon, unfold from. I must avoid dull designs, old-fashioned styles and threadbare material.

I can weave a dense tapestry, where buried gems lie waiting to be teased out, where warmth will soothe or weight will drag the spirits. I might make a web of silk to cover traps, to cloak dark characters or to soften the edges of faces or ease woes. Perhaps I’ll create a hard tarpaulin under which the reader can peek from each corner wondering what might jump out at him or what gruesome details hide just under its surface.

When I’ve chosen my words and dressed them, I have my image to place before the world. I want it to be something fresh, presented in a well-crafted style, whether to startle, to amuse or to make hearts ache; then I have a good chance of success.

End Product

Having chosen my exquisite words and fabric, I turn to producing the final product.

In my first draft I’ll put ideas to paper; I have a horror of forgetting thoughts or particular phrases so I just throw them on the page and breathe a sigh of relief. Now the fabric is loosely woven; it needs tightening up to leave no snagged threads.

Work the Words for Maximum Effect

To achieve that, I work the words to be economical but retain effect. This isn’t easy. Verbosity wearies the reader so each word must have a job or it shouldn’t be there. My vocabulary needs to impact on the reader, be surprising, create a clear image of my exact intention. If it doesn’t, I re-write.

Each syllable must lend itself to the whole, be conducive to thought, incite mood and emotion. I want my writing to appeal to the senses, make them tingle! I wish to be interesting, to convey my thoughts as though I’m face to face with my reader.


Next, a crucial phase of a written product, is proof-reading. I don’t do that immediately because I’m in danger of reading what I expect to see, the words I still have whizzing around my brain.

I do check for any glaring spelling or grammar mistakes straight away but then I’ll leave it, go for a walk, do the washing up, read something else, anything to clear my head of that last rush of typing and the relief of finishing.

It will demand my attention a few hours later, then the next day; if I’m still not happy with it, I might leave it for a week. It’s amazing how a fresh mind picks up all sorts of errors, brings a clearer turn of phrase or is critical enough to rewrite a whole paragraph or even scratch it.

Occasionally, I'll show my work to someone I can trust to give me honest feedback. It's so easy to miss the obvious and a totally different opinion can help me see any weaknesses.

Illustrations & Background

Finally, I might add photos, relevant quotes or snippets of information. Photos or other illustrations add credence and vital visual information to support an article about a place, event, nature or wildlife.

Background history can add depth and context; appropriate links provide further information. I must also remember to attribute any other work I’ve cited or researched.

What shall I write about today?

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Reading and Writing PatternsBridgwater CarnivalEarly 50s Fashion for the Young!
Reading and Writing Patterns
Reading and Writing Patterns | Source
Bridgwater Carnival
Bridgwater Carnival | Source
Early 50s Fashion for the Young!
Early 50s Fashion for the Young! | Source

Variety of Subjects

I might write about literacy, often to help dyslexics. Then my piece has to be informative, educationally useful and accurate, as well as up-beat and encouraging.

My short stories or poems might be written to an historical background, they might be intended to amuse, maybe to scare or horrify, perhaps to delight or gently sadden.

I call upon my knowledge of the English countryside, my childhood and my travels to provide a varied base for articles. Local or traditional events inspire interest. Nature both at home and abroad can delight.

Sometimes affected by current affairs or certain behaviour, I can be tempted to work through my thoughts and possible solutions in presenting, I hope, an informed text on the subject. The more serious pieces are few and far between; they can be exhausting but cleansing too. The danger is to become too involved, too emotional and therefore lose a balanced argument and overview. In such cases, fair representation is a discipline the writer must uphold.

My last category is personal; I write a diary for each of my grandchildren so that later they can read about snapshots of their younger lives interwoven with anecdotes from mine.

Development & Voice

From a young age, I’ve enjoyed writing. HubPages has done me good; my style and my voice has developed. I’ve learnt much from other hubbers, notably Bill Holland (billybuc) and Chris Mills (cam8510) and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

I love words. Hardly a day goes by that I’m not either writing or mulling over words in my head. My observation of life, of people and their actions, of the world around me, has increased as I look constantly for unique angles on any subject under our life-giving golden orb.


Short words, long words, root words and song words; all are a writer’s resource, a writer’s tools, with which we create an intricate tapestry of rich delight or a plain cloth to cover or to expose the truth.

I hope to stretch those tools to their extreme, to continue to improve, to entertain, to inform and to help. Words remain long after we are gone, a valuable legacy to our descendants, an invaluable account of life as we see it and live it. I want to contribute to that legacy. My grandchildren will read my words; I hope their grandchildren, and others, will do the same.

Using Words

Which genre of writing do you prefer to write?

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Which genre of writing do you prefer to read?

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More by this Author

Comments 48 comments

annart profile image

annart 21 months ago from SW England Author

Pamela: Thank you so much for such a kind comment. I'm so pleased you like this and I like that it comes over as energetic! (BTW the share button is at the bottom on the left - black box with white H+)

Thanks for reading and commenting.


Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 21 months ago from Maui and Arizona

I enjoyed this BEYOND words. I enjoyed your enthusiasm and precision. I am happy for you that you have such energy and determination at this time in your life. May it always be so. Voting up and wanted to Share.....but I don't see where and how to do it now. Have things changed around here? I'm not sure. Anyway, this is so good!

annart profile image

annart 23 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, Catherine, for the kind comment and compliment. I'm glad you enjoyed the imagery. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this one.


CatherineGiordano profile image

CatherineGiordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

I loved "seamstress of syllables." Alliteration and a great use of imagery. And then you carried the sewing/weaving imagery through the rest of the hub. Wonderful! Voted up ++

annart profile image

annart 23 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, Jo! Lovely to see you. Hope your studies are going well and that all is good with you.


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 23 months ago

wow Ann! A stellar and fascinating read this beautiful Tuesday! You have covered all the reasons why so many of us dive in and try to find the words to convey all that we see, feel and wish to share. So very much enjoyed reading this. Voted up of course! Shared too. :-) Blessings now and always!

annart profile image

annart 23 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, Molly. What a lovely comment and compliment! Glad you like this.


Molly Layton profile image

Molly Layton 23 months ago from Alberta

This is fascinating. It seems you have a strong sense of your own writing style. I love the rhythm of your sentences.

annart profile image

annart 23 months ago from SW England Author

Yes indeed, Flourish! Lots of colour and images to fire the imagination.

Thank you so much for your comment and valued input. Lovely to see you today!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 23 months ago from USA

What a wonderful response. I can visualize pretty packages and bows, bright papers and vivid colors. I firmly believe that what you know isn't the only thing that is important; it's how you package and convey your ideas and information.

annart profile image

annart 23 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, Sujaya!

sujaya venkatesh profile image

sujaya venkatesh 23 months ago

i second it

annart profile image

annart 23 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, Shyron, for your lovely comment, votes and sharing.

It does take up a lot of time, doesn't it? Trouble is, I can't ignore a challenge!


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 23 months ago

Ann, this is wonderful and I have so many challenges, with so many distractions. I can't wait to finish Bill's and this one and several others.

Wow, I am a lover of words.

Voted-up across the board, and shared

Blessings and Hugs.

annart profile image

annart 23 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, ps, for your great comment and votes.

Yes, we all have our own slant on this challenge and it has made for some wonderful hubs - loved yours.

Hope all's well with you today; have a great one!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 23 months ago from sunny Florida

It is fun to read these entries in this many of us have taken the WORDS and turned them into our own tapestry showing our love for the language.

Ann, it seems we all find just the right way to express ourselves.

Voted up++++ and shared

Angels are on the way this morning ps

annart profile image

annart 24 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, Pamela. What a lovely comment! I don't recognise your name so I'm off to have a look at your profile.


Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 24 months ago from Maui and Arizona

I enjoyed this so much! Like Bill said in his comment, you said things I feel. I really enjoyed your enthusiasm, too.

annart profile image

annart 24 months ago from SW England Author

Mary, I'm blown away by your comment. You're very kind and I'm flattered to have such support. I wish I had mastered writing but on the other hand if I had, I'd have nothing left to do!

I'm content to think that my writing's improving and the best compliment you could give me is referring to the 'joy of reading'. I'm glad you liked this piece.

Mary, you are definitely mastering this craft and you have your own way of weaving words.

Thank you for your wonderful words here and for the votes.

Have a superb weekend!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 24 months ago from New York

Everything you write is brilliant. The time and attention you give to your writing shows through. Your words are always exquisite, and your joy of writing transfers to our joy of reading.

After reading this masterpiece I am proud to be a writer and can strive to try to master this craft as you have. This is a wondrous answer to this challenge.

Voted all but funny, and shared.

annart profile image

annart 24 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, Alicia! Glad you enjoyed it.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 24 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a very interesting approach to the challenge and includes a beautiful use of words, Ann!

annart profile image

annart 24 months ago from SW England Author

B Leekley: Thank you very much. Glad you liked it.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 24 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

This is a delightful paean to the art and craft of writing.

annart profile image

annart 24 months ago from SW England Author

Venkatachari M: thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you liked this.


annart profile image

annart 24 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, Dora, for your kind compliment. I'm so pleased you liked this.


annart profile image

annart 24 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, Audrey, for your lovely words.

You have a wonderful way with words yourself. I love your poetry.

Good to see you.


Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 24 months ago from Hyderabad, India

Very great, beautiful and interesting flow of words and thoughts here. You have done it so well, Ann! You met the challenge so splendid. Thanks for sharing this beautiful hub. Voted up, interesting and beautiful.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 24 months ago from The Caribbean

"Seamstress of syllables." What a lovely phrase, and so beautifully illustrated in this article. Well done!

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 24 months ago from California

Really beautiful writing! Your writing just shines here!!

annart profile image

annart 24 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, Devika! I enjoyed this challenge. Looking for unusual and colourful words is great fun.


annart profile image

annart 24 months ago from SW England Author

Well, thank you, Frank! I'm delighted and flattered you think I make it look easy. Actually, I did find this more difficult than other challenges so far, probably because it's more of a blanket subject. Stories on a particular genre or from photo prompts, I find easier; I need direction!

I appreciate your support. Have a great day!


DDE profile image

DDE 24 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Hi Ann you have created an interesting and useful hub. Great words for this challenge.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 24 months ago from Shelton

Annart.. you do well with these challenges and you always tackle difficult ( at least from my point of view ) challenges.. but make it look easy.. you have that knack... :)

annart profile image

annart 24 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, John, for such a great comment. I'm glad you like this. Thanks for the vote too. I always appreciate your support.


annart profile image

annart 24 months ago from SW England Author

Hello, Theresa! How lovely to see you today. Thank you for your amazing comments; you are so kind and supportive. It's wonderful when readers say such things about my work; it still amazes me and makes me smile all week!

Thanks for all the votes and sharing, too. Yes, the button wasn't behaving yesterday but seems to be back on track. Hope it stays that way!

Have a wonderful Tuesday, my dear friend.


annart profile image

annart 24 months ago from SW England Author

Good morning, Marilyn. I'm delighted you like this; thank you so much for your wonderful comments. This really was a challenge and made me consider carefully what I do, so I'm glad you started the process.

You've made my day; I'll be out and about with a spring in my step!

Have a great Tuesday!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 24 months ago from Queensland Australia

Ann, your use of words is second to none and this hub is a great example of your word skill. Thank you for sharing this wonderful response to Marilyn's challenge. Voted up.

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 24 months ago from southern USA

I always love reading your words, Ann, for you express them so well and reading what you write is always such a joy and delight!

You are one of my favorite writers here on HP just because of the words you choose to use in your interesting hubs, stories, articles and all the rest.

What an interesting challenge, and you lived up to the challenge as always and beyond.

You are a wordsmith.

Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing Hooray, the have the share button fixed finally : )

Peace and blessings always

MDavisatTIERS profile image

MDavisatTIERS 24 months ago from Georgia

Good evening, Ann - I'm not yelling, I cheering loudly - WHAT A WONDERFUL RESPONSE. You have just done an excellent job. Articulate, full of metaphor, alliteration, poetic phrasing - oh the list goes on. And yes, you are a wordsmith.

Thank you so much for taking this challenge. ~Marilyn

annart profile image

annart 24 months ago from SW England Author

What a lovely thing to say, Ruby. Thank you.

I think all writers have a passion for words, their meanings, shapes, sounds and make up. My fascination with them never ends. Like you, I have to look up new ones and then I try to use them.

Great to see you today! Thanks for the visit.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 24 months ago from Southern Illinois

Ann, I am always happy to see you've written another article/hub. I know without a doubt that I will learn something new, and I did. I love words too. I am forever looking up words and their different meanings. The way you weave your words is beautiful. Thank you.

annart profile image

annart 24 months ago from SW England Author

Pennyforyourthots: thanks for such a great comment. Glad you enjoyed it.


profile image

Pennyforyourthots 24 months ago

Another amazing hub that peeks into the mind of a writer! So interesting and true! Thanks for sharing this with us.

annart profile image

annart 24 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, Catherine! What a lovely comment; I'm so pleased you like this and thanks for the vote and share.


CatherineGiordano profile image

CatherineGiordano 24 months ago from Orlando Florida

Wow! No only did you write about words, you used them beautifully, and poetically. Thumbs up and H+.

annart profile image

annart 24 months ago from SW England Author

How great it is to see you here first, bill, and guess what? - I'm laughing too. I wanted to get mine published first because it's no surprise at all that yours would be similar!

Thank you so much for your words; it's good to know I've reached inside your heart. A 'brilliant' is lovely too.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

I'm laughing right now, Ann. I'm just finishing my answer to this challenge and I swear, it looks like a copy of yours. Does that come as a surprise at all? I think not.

Lovers of words feel the same way about writing. It was inevitable that I would say many of the same things that you have said here. You reached inside my heart and grabbed my feelings.



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