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How to use the power of words Editor's Notes #119
March 31, 2012
Hello,

We read five words on the first page of a really good novel
and we begin to forget
that we are reading printed words on a page;
we begin to see images
--a dog hunting through garbage cans,
a plane circling above Alaskan mountains,
an old lady furtively licking her napkin at a party.

--John Gardner


In this issue:

1. The power of your words
2. Tickled my funnybone
3. Interesting Web site
4. Fight writer's block

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1. The power of your words
Words have power. They hurt or heal. They inspire faith or dash hope. The Bible says words called the universe into being.

Scientists have discovered that reading a story fires up the same areas in the brain as living through that story would fire up. When I read that, I recalled reading Treasure Island as a pre-teen. While one of the pirates chased young Jim up the mast, my whole body was so tense that my abs hurt when I finally released the tension.

It's not just any words that have power, though, is it?

I believe that part of what gives words their power is the authority of the speaker. Authority flows from truth. When evil regimes want to hold power, they suppress truth. When truth struggles to the top of consciousness in an individual, a person is set free.

When you write truth, your words have power.

Truth shines when you write accurately. Exactly what does it feel like in the situation the character faces? Just how much money does a person need to retire?

When your truth goes beyond the obvious and reaches deep into the meanings behind the actions, the power of words is almost without limit.

Let's take our readers to places they have never been and into experiences they have never had. Let's fire their brains in ways that make their bodies, minds, and hearts respond.

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2.Tickled my funnybone
Would a cardboard belt be a waist of paper?

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3. Interesting Web site
For more on how the brain reacts to reading, see

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/the-neuroscience-of-your-brain-on-fiction.html

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Join Writer's Helper Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WritersHelperEditor

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4. Fight writer's block
Thanks to everyone who sent in ways to combat writer's block, I have created a list of things you can try the next time you find yourself unable to carry on writing. Reply to this email asking for the file on writer's block and I'll send you the pdf file. (If you were one of those who contributed to the list, you should already have your own copy. If not, please let me know.) This offer is good until April 30, 2012.

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