The Power of a Sentence

The Power of a Word

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” Mark Twain

As writers we are always in search of the right word in at the right time. Moving from the lightning bug to lightning is the challenge and blessing of doing many drafts. A MOTHER FOR CHOCO by Keiko Kasza provides dynamic evidence as to just how much a change in word or sentence can do. Including a shift is awareness.

“Choco was a little bird, who lived all alone. He wished he had a mother, but who could his mother be? One day he set off to find her.”

Choco meets a giraffe, a penguin, and a walrus. Each has a physical attribute in common with Choco, but all three quickly note more differences that similarities and dismiss the little bird.

When Choco begins to cry Bear comes to see what’s wrong. Bear’s choice of words transforms both the story and the perspective of “mother”. Rather than comparing appearances and giving answers, Bear asks the question, “If you had a mommy, what would she do?”

Action.  Just as action makes a story breathe, action is the life force of relationships.

Choco knows his mother would hold him, kiss him, and sing and dance to cheer him up. Bear can and does do these things. Choco’s journey is now complete. Mother and home have been found thanks to the right word and the right sentence at the right time. Lightning!

Sample Books by Keiko Kasza

A MOTHER FOR CHOCO. Putnam, 1992.

MY LUCKY DAY. Putnam, 2003.

READY FOR ANYTHING! Putnam, 2009.

WHEN THE ELEPHANT WALKS. Putnam, 1990.

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