Minor ignorance filled with watching others interact in cultures not your own. Have you every sat watching in the airport, scouring fodder for the next novel?
If I capture a character’s euphemisms, cliches or familial mannerisms in a dialog, I am worthy of the reader’s attention. The next page. The next chapter. The End.
If I intimate instead of advertise, an exhausted, run down diner, a patina trimmed population sign, I have created a bridge between the written page and the reader’s mental acuity. We all have driven through that town. Or lived in that town. One stop light. History. Secrets. Wounds. Backstory. No need to coerce a memory, but only to bring it forward.
These locutions can amp up and amplify. These WORDS can and do play a part in conjuring pity and compassion for your characters. WORDS that discriminate. WORDS that judge. Carefully used, will spin up hate for your protagonist and genuine concern for your antagonist.
What WORD play will you write today? Try a new way to use an old WORD. Tell me about in the comments.