Dr. Solomon (John Lithgow) makes a great point in this short clip above. The dictionary is not only a great resource to check one’s spelling – although spellcheck does most of the heavy lifting for us these days – but it’s also a storehouse of the millions of words that we as writers implement through our own creativity to produce stories, characters, locations, and descriptions designed to entertain audiences.
Too often we will read a great novel, see a well-written film or play, and be intimidated by the awesome creative forces at work before us. But then we need to step back and remember the above clip from 3rdRock from the Sun. Every writer, screenwriter, and playwright is using the same dictionary of words that we have at our disposal.
With practice, determination, and editing, we can also be at the same level of skill and talent as those who have gone before us. It’s all the same words, it’s how they’re organized that makes the difference.
Today, go and organize some words into a great short story and see what happens!