Lynn sent around an email she received about funny auto correct mishaps. (They are all over on the web, just Google “auto correct mishaps.”) When we quit laughing it got us thinking about words.
Our second grandson is a couple of months past his first birthday and is just now starting to make sounds his grandparents can recognize (Mama, Dada, and uh-oh). Not that he needs many words. He knows where we keep the cookies in the cupboard and, now that he’s fully mobile, there no need to ask if he can have some. Just grab and go (he takes after his granddad.) And when he smiles and raises his arms there isn’t a human alive who wouldn’t pick him up for a cuddle. With Aaron, sometimes words just get in the way.
His brother is three years and a month older but the vocabulary difference is astounding. Ethan already has a dictionary worth of words at his disposal and he seems to add more every minute. There is always something new to describe in Ethan’s world. While we struggle to declare an original thought, everyday there is a new four-year-old wonder and new words to describe it. We yearn for a mind that flexible and expansive.
After the holidays, we will sit down for the final edit of our third novel, The Dragon Princess. As it stands now, we’ve used close to 80,000 words to build a fantasy world full of people and places that can only be found in our imaginations. And even with all the words we have at our disposal, we will spend hours and days adding, removing, or rearranging no more than a thousand just to make sure our story is as readable as it can be. Like all the authors before us, we’ve found it isn’t just the number of words you have but how you meld them together that makes the difference. But we love the challenge. That’s why we write, rewrite and edit. And it’s why we really think it wise to have two sets of eyes to make sure what’s written is what we meant. We really do not want to end up on the “I can’t believe that’s in a book” Google search.