Why ‘Zoetic Words’?

My given name is Zoe, derived from the ancient Greek for life. As a girl, fascinated with words, I came across zoetic in an old dictionary. A rare or archaic word with the same derivation as my name, zoetic means living or vital. Also from the same derivation is zoetrope, the Victorian toy you see below.

Words on the page, of themselves, are little more than patterns of ink on paper and can be just as dry to read. Like a zoetrope, my aim as a writer and editor is to give life and vitality to black squiggles. Words ought to sparkle, shine, and move me to laughter or tears before I send them out into the world. There I want them to sing and dance in the mind and imagination of readers.

How could I call my business anything but Zoetic Words?

Five Words

This state is sometimes called the fictional daydream or, in German, Kopfkino, literally “cinema in the head”.

The challenge for the writer is writing five words that will ‘hook’ or immerse the reader in the story. Then keeping the reader immersed. Entire books have been written on how to do this and “Deep Point of View” so I won’t try to cover all of that here. Your editor will work with you to assist you in this.

However, I thought it was fascinating to read about what happens when readers read here: https://lithub.com/what-does-immersing-yourself-in-a-book-do-to-your-brain/

Use Strong Verbs

Overuse of adverbs (-ly words) is common among new and inexperienced writers. See the example below for ways to replace them with strong verbs. Using strong verbs instead of adverbs also assists in “showing” rather than “telling”.

“She’s definitely mine,” said Big Red aggressively.

“Admittedly, she had lunch with you in the same patch of orchard, but she recently told me it’s me she wants,” said Big Grey, raising his paws threateningly, lashing quickly at the larger kangaroo.


“Can you pair find somewhere else to strongly contest the lovely lady elsewhere,” asked Little Red tiredly. “We’re trying to nap here. You pair going at it noisily is interfering with my sleep.”

Compare:

“She’s belongs to me.” Big Red growled, planted his tail, and raised his paws.

“Yes. You ate lunch in the same patch of orchard. But, she sleeps with me. She wants me.” Big Grey, thrusts with his claws, slashing the larger roo’s chest.


“Come off it you two… find somewhere else to fight for the bitch,” Little Red yawned. “We’re trying to nap. Your brawling is interfering with my sleep.”

Rewrite

Congratulations! Your draft is done. You are doing well. Now for the exciting part; starting to get your story ready to face the rest of the world. All those hardwon words need to be cut down to size.

Every single word must earn its place in your story. Every sentence, every paragraph, every scene, every subplot must move the story forward. Readers paying to read your story deserve your very best.

Good luck. Your editor thanks you in advance.

The only secret

Often, the purpose of writing the first draft is to tell yourself the story. By the time you finish, you should have a very good idea of what you want to say in your story. Rewriting is the time for clarifying your message.

Some of the best writing advice I’ve heard is to “Mean what you say, and say what you mean.” Using the correct words to convey your message as clearly and effectively as possible is important because it gives your reader the best reading experience.

One Single Fact

The one single fact which can give significance to an entire story is sometimes called a ‘significant detail’. This can convince the reader that the story is plausible, could actually happen.

Show rather than tell the significant detail in vivid and realistic detail to spark in the reader’s imagination, the cinematic or fictive dream.

The last sentence is comforting. Your wildest ideas are fine, so long as you can find that one fact that makes them believable. You can do anything!