Disagreement with My Teacher

Blog on Fire AwardFirst, award time!  The fabulous Kate Larkindale gave me this award (Kate, I’d give it to you also, but I’m not sure if that’s allowed).  Her blog is great; go check it out.

Aaand here are five of my favorite blogs I am passing it on to:

  1. Sophia
  2. Angela
  3. Christie
  4. Gabi
  5. Deana

At some point in my elementary education I had the following conversation (probably more of an argument, or a Juliana-being-stubborn moment) with a teacher about a paper I had written:

Teacher: Juliana, this is very good, but I want us to look at one particular word you used to describe this man. (points to paper)

Me: (Silence)

Teacher: You use the word nice.  Are there any other words you can think of that would be more specific?

Me: …he was nice…

Teacher: Yes, but nice is a very generic word.  Think hard, is there another word you could use?

Me: But he was nice.

Teacher: I am sure though, that there is a better way to describe him than just plain nice.

Me: (Silence )

I don’t remember how the conversation ended, but I have the very vivid memory of standing beside my teacher, at her desk, arguing over the word nice.  I really did not understand why the word nice wasn’t good enough.

I have that same conversation with myself many times while writing.

Inner me: Oh honestly, you know better than to use the word shrug.  And did I see you write NOD earlier?  She nodded??  How boring.

Me: But she did nod, how else am I supposed to write that?

Inner me: Oh, I don’t know, how about her hair fell over her eyes as she tilted her head to the side, that is much more interesting.

Me: I suppose that’s better…

Inner me: You know it is.  Plus, did she really nod?  Maybe she stared at him blankly or maybe she blinked once to indicate she had heard him.  Maybe she thinks he’s an idiot and stuck her tongue out and blew a raspberry.

Me: I don’t know.  You’re confusing me.

Inner me:  I’m confusing you?! And how do you not know?  You’re writing it!  She can do anything you want her to.

I have this discussion with myself at least fifty times while writing a WIP.  Ugh, it’s terrible and oh so annoying.

Are there any words you insist on using even though you know they aren’t good enough?

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3 thoughts about "Disagreement with My Teacher"

  • Sophia the Writer says:

    Aww thank you m'dear! I will get to this when I return to the Left Coast.

  • Deana says:

    How sweet are you! Thanks for the nod:)

    My favorite first draft wip words are feel, looked and I use adverbs out the butt.

    And Juliana, don't you worry, I self talk/abuse myself to death when I write:)

  • Angela Scott says:

    Holy friggin' heck! An award! That is totally awesome. I LOVE it! Blog on Fire–SWEET!

    I am in your same boat. I use the word "nod" and "shook" (shook her head). Yeah, how else am I supposed to say that? "He moved his head in a horizontal manner indicating he agreed"–hey, that's actually pretty good. Don't steal that. I may use that in the future. Okay, you can steal it if you like.

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