First Sentence Fridays – Chapter 30

THE FORGIVING KIND by Donna Everhart
Did you know there are 171,476 words in use in the English language with 47,156 that are obsolete? (Source, Oxford Dictionaries) Neither did I.

Here comes a small reason I sometimes say writing is a hair pulling exercise. I’m sure I’m not the only one who dwells on various word choices when it comes to establishing the voice of a character.  I remember when I wrote the sentence below only one word seemed to fit and I kept coming back to it. That word was stewing. Originally it was,”Mr. Fowler got to brooding over  . . . ” but there was something about the way it sounded when I read it out loud that wasn’t right for Sonny’s voice. I tried worry, fret, dwelling, etc.

Stewing is what sounded like Sonny, not only because it matched how I heard her in my head, but because it IS what Mr. Fowler is literally doing. Can’t you just picture him sitting there, silent, morose, angry looking? He’s . . . stewing. There’s a term, to stew in one’s own juices, meaning “to suffer anxiety or the unpleasant consequences of one’s own actions without the consoling intervention of others.” In this case, it is more aligned to Mr. Fowler becoming more and more resentful, and he’s not one to let things go.

Chapter 30

Mr. Fowler got to stewing over how things went that morning back at our old house.

We are FOUR weeks away from the ON SALE date for the book, January 29, 2019. 

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Happy New Year to all!


COMMENTS

  • Carolynnwith2Ns

    December 28, 2018

    Reply

    Perfect word choice. Love it. I can just imagine you “stewing” over stewing.

    • Donna Everhart

      December 28, 2018

      Reply

      Ha – and I was! Hope the holidays were bright and cheerful for you 2Ns!

  • Eldonna Edwards

    December 28, 2018

    Reply

    I can SO relate to agonizing over a word choice. Doesn’t it fee good when you finally hit on the right word? Stewing is so perfect for Sonny’s voice and for Mr. Fowler’s moods. Reading this I get nervous all over again. I can’t wait for the world to read you book. Less than a month away! 🙂

    • Donna Everhart

      December 28, 2018

      Reply

      Sometimes they just come and other times . . . when this word popped in my head, it was like “ding, ding, ding!” That’s the winning word!

      Ha – I get sort of uptight too, Eldonna – knowing what’s going on, etc. It is almost here! (I’ve been looking at video clips for an hour now, btw. 🙂 )

  • carol Baldwin

    December 28, 2018

    Reply

    Yep, great word choice. Glad I’m not the only one who stews over which word to use! I’m in good company!

    • Donna Everhart

      December 29, 2018

      Reply

      Thank you, Carol – I’ve always been this way, and not just over word choices – haha.

  • Craig

    December 28, 2018

    Reply

    Archaic, maybe, but words are never obsolete. You don’t know how many times I have dredged up the right word, usually when I am doing something else, only to sit down at the computer, with it at the top of my mind, and have it dissipate. Then I have to go back to what I was doing and wait for it to congeal back into that word.

    It seems even harder for me, because I am now writing sci-fi and you can’t call a rabbit a shmeep there. I’ll take that back. When I was writing one thriller, I went into the background of the antagonist and had to remember all that weird language from the early sixties. A bubble in time can be even worse than sci-fi, though I get to make a running half-joke about needing new terminology.

    Hope the New Year is even better than this one. That, at least, can’t be too hard.

    • Donna Everhart

      December 29, 2018

      Reply

      “Archaic, maybe, but words are never obsolete.”

      Their choice of words, not mine! However, I think what they mean is they’re not part of regular speech today. A good example of that would be to listen to Shelby Foote narrating about the Civil War, where the letters that were sent to family are read. It’s eye opening how formal they sound, their word choices so different.

      Here’s to a Happy New Year to you and Kathy, too, Craig!


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