Writing episode one of the Nemecene science fiction series, Nemecene: The Epoch of Redress, was one thing, but editing the novel? That was something entirely different.
I have such great respect for authors who wrote incredible books with just a typewriter, and of course for those who did it all long hand, all those years ago. For me, as a science fiction author, having a thesaurus handy is like toilet paper. It’s not very glamourous, but when you run out, things can get pretty crappy.
For instance, at the height of a particularly tense scene in book one between Stitch and Elize, just as I was within 10,000 words of finishing the first draft, my internet gave out. Ah! But you scoff! Of course a writer does not need the internet, especially one who authors fiction. All she needs is her imagination, a few futuristic words, and the careful notes she has amassed over months and months (albeit on the computer, but I have a Mac so I’m safe there. Muahahaha. Take that you Windowroids!), and pen and paper if worse comes to worse, right? WRONG!
Have you ever tried to use a paperback Thesaurus? Well, I just happen to have one, so when the feed crapped out, I remembered my K&A training, did the whole palms together, palms apart thing, and came up with the perfect solution. Ahem! Let me just say. I LOVE THESAURUS.COM! Should I repeat that even louder?
As I traipsed through the glossary at the back of the paperback version, and then tried to find my way to the synonyms, and then tried to cross-reference the words, because, really, I’m not actually sure what something is called sometimes or what exact word or nuance I’m looking for, and in fact, it might not even be in any way related to the word I want to use. On the website, I can just scroll, scan, filter, click on something and VAVOOM! It’s there….but in the book… Nope. Not happening.
But why, you ask, do I need a thesaurus? Don’t words simply flow off my fingers so forcefully that I need to be very close, and I mean very close, to my computer, to unload at a moment’s notice, lest they just make a mess all over my floor? Hmmm. Reminds me of the ½ quart of organic prune juice I had last month. Yeah. Fun!
Anyway, it’s not just about finding the right word. It’s also about capturing the right feeling. Sometimes, when I search for the proper expression or thought, selecting a specific word triggers all these little nanites in my brain, and the story takes a twist in another direction. Yes! True inspiration from just a few syllables. And for someone like myself, who has high C tendencies if shoved against a wall (warning: do not shove me a against a wall), flying by the seat of my short-shorts (Go Daisy Duke!) is a strange experience indeed, but one which I have come to crave.
So it’s no mystery that my drug of choice, as all us twisted, supposedly depressed, and substance abusing creatives must have, is Th…Thes…OMG! I’m feeling faint. I can’t even print it anymore, because with this blurt I haven’t had my fix…Thesaurus.com. Oh Baby! Who needs chocolate! 😉
But seriously, my author partners in crime, do you or don’t you use a thesaurus and why? Or why not? Come on…time to let go of that dirty little secret.