Friday, February 6, 2009

Sooner - word choice, not a person from Oklahoma

As I edit and re-edit my NaNo novel, I contemplate word choices. In the rush to crank out 50K words back in the month of November, style and content flew out the window. Now I ponder each page. Pithy bon mots should flow from the mouths of my characters. Settings should not involve mere blue or tan couches or a boringly beautiful day. I need to draw a picture that pulls my reader into a sense of place.

Time designations should not be vague. Hence, this discussion of "soon". My black Pontiac GT zoom-mobile appears to have a persnickety catalytic converter. The whole fuel system dumped a year ago and I poured money into my baby. Six months ago a light beamed from the dashboard and I panicked. The converter was replaced for free and the angels sang. Then, the LIGHT - the dreaded "Service Engine Soon" light re-appeared. Huh? After tests and consultations, nothing is wrong with the converter. It happens to not agree with the car computer and thus chooses to signal its discontent intermittently. This morning it said "soon". This afternoon, it turned off.

I need a better description from my dashboard. The light should say "three minutes" or "ten days" or "six months". SOON enables procrastination. SOON is much too vague. Think about word choice. I will, sooner or later, when I'm stranded in my car on the side of the road in Oklahoma and a kindly Sooner stops to help me.


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