Saying what you need to say in a concise way is hard, especially when you’re writing. Trust in the story is absolutely essential. So, how do we say what we need to say?
- Do we confront how we feel, or do we wait until we’re too tired to speak up?
- Do we confront it for now, or do we let it go and hope that it’s okay?
There are different ways to look at statements, and this list will tell you what to call them.
- Adage: aphorism with credibility due to language
- Aphorism: concise definition
- Apothegm: edgy, cynical aphorism
- Bromide: insincere phrase or platitude, implying a lack of originality
- Cliché: commonplace, trite saying
- Epigram: a poetic form of a comment on a person/idea/occurrence
- Epithet: descriptive word or phrase that becomes popular
- Gnome: compact instruction
- Idiom: an expression whose meaning can’t be denied by hearing it
- Mantra: religious or mystical syllable or poetic phrase
- Maxim: wise principle or rule
- Motto: concise expression of motivation
- Platitude: flat, insipid, trite, weak remark
- Proverb: practical truth or wisdom
- Quip: witty or funny observation
- Saw: commonplace, longstanding, trite
- Witticism: smart, notable for form or style than content
Your characters want to find ways to summarize what they’re thinking, even if you don’t write it out.
You – as the writer – need to say what you need to say to someone who can’t hear you. You’re communicating from afar, to your reader, to your character, to anyone who interacts with your work.
Think about the following paragraphs as a prompt:
Imagine his family and friends using a saying from above to help him come to terms with his feelings. Maybe in their discussions, they said something that he took away that helped with his healing.
What were those words?
They don’t have to end up in your manuscript but having it as part of your “off-screen” character development can be a powerful exercise.