Do you want to escape?

Get out of your head

As a reader, I want to escape into a story and don’t want to return until I absolutely must. This kind of escapism is not unusual. Life is not ideal. We can’t always afford to take ourselves away from the life we have. Books and movies give us a more affordable way to live a different life, if only for a few hours. When we escape like this, the last thing we want is to be dropped out of our fantasy world and brought back to reality with a thump.

When editing, my job is to look for things which will drop a reader out of the story. Some of these can be:

  • spelling, grammar and punctuation errors;
  • characters acting ‘out of character’ or stupidly;
  • inconsistencies;
  • awkward phrasing, lack of clarity;
  • breaking the rules of the story world;
  • breaking the rules of the genre (killing the hero in a romance story).

These and others are dangerous to the career of the writer because once a reader is ‘dumped’ out of the story, they might:

  • remember all the things they should be doing instead of reading;
  • get so frustrated they throw the book at the wall; and/or
  • never forgive the writer and write them on their blacklist.

We need stories

Need Stories

Why? Because sometimes we want to be swept away from reality and entertained, amused, or reassured that good can win over evil, love makes the world go around and we can get what we think we deserve. We may be looking for a way to deal with a situation, seeking a model to emulate, an example to follow, inspiration to greatness, or courage to continue toward our goals.

We learn much from being entertained in this way, about how people think and feel, how they reason and why they do what they do. Both as an example to follow and to avoid.

Sometimes we need to learn the lessons we don’t learn from reality. We need the objectivity of not being so personally involved.

There are hundreds more reasons why we need stories. What are your favourites?


Why Zoetic Words?

It is with words as with sunbeams, the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. That may be true but just as there are myriads of shades and hues in the colour wheel so there are nuances and connotations within words. To communicate your truth with clarity, specificity, without question or ambiguity there is no substitute for the right words in the right combination.

Zoetic has always been one of my favourite words. Obviously, because zoetic and Zoe have a common origin but also because I am both a writer and editor I believe in Zoetic Words.

Zoe comes from the Greek PIE root *gwei- “to live”, literally meaning “life”. Zoetic means “pertaining to life”, living, vital.

You are probably here, visiting my website, because you are a writer. Wouldn’t you like to know that your words are as zoetic as we can make them? What do I mean by that?

Zoetic words are vital. How rich and interesting is life is because of words and the way we use them to communicate. A world without words is unimaginable. How else could we communicate the depth of our ideas, emotions and stories?

Zoetic words are life. Understanding vital facts can save your life, enrich it and infuse it with vitality. The aim of the storyteller is to touch the hearts and minds, the lives of readers. Your copy, article, poem or story has purpose, depth and meaning. Whether you want your reader to learn, be moved, laugh, cry, or simply entertained, let me help you.

How do you want your reader to feel while reading your work and afterward? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.