Harnessing the Magic of Words

Contributed by December Blogger of the Month, Rebekah Loper


Words have power – all sorts of power. I fell in love with their potential at an early age, if the things my mother collected and stored away are any indication. And that’s not even counting the memories I have of writing. For some reason, I never wrote many ‘books’ as a child, I just focused on plays and short stories, though my plays definitely read more like novels. Just so you know, these are buried quite deeply on really old floppy disks somewhere in a box.

I didn’t grow up in the happiest of homes… it was definitely not the worst it could have been, but it was not the ideal situation for anyone to grow up in. Words quickly became my refuge.

All kinds of words.

I have many, many memories of my mother reading aloud to us – so many that it’s impossible to sort through them all. The ‘bedtime stories’ ritual didn’t end – ever.

It was normal for us to be on a first-name basis with the librarians, and for us to be at the library up until closing. Sometimes past closing. I pretty much skipped the teen section at the library, too, and went straight into the adult books (with supervision) once I got frustrated with the simple-ness of the children’s section. (Though I read Nancy Drew for a very long time.)

I was about 14 the first time I read the Bible through – all the way from Genesis to Revelation. And that was when I fell in love with language, not just words.

You see… words can take you places, and make you feel things, and they can give you hope. Reading can help you relate to other people who think differently than you do. Probably because we have the time to sort out our own opinion, and if our facial expression ‘says’ the wrong thing while we think, we can’t hurt a book character’s feelings.

I was in my teens when I first decided to seriously pursue the magic of words. Surprisingly enough, I did a lot of that through speeches. I was in 4-H, and spoken communication was highly encouraged, and I was fortunate enough that my 4-H club arranged for classes with the local Toastmaster’s chapter. Spoken words can have the same magic as written ones, it just manifests differently. And that might be why there’s so much emphasis on believable dialogue in fiction writing.

The words that are most magical for me are far too numerous to count – they are in my favorite stories (and I will proudly admit that Tolkien wrote quite a few of them), they are my favorite scriptures, and many are my favorite songs.

How do you make magical words? By saying what is in your heart, in the best possible way you can. It’s that simple, and that difficult.

Below are probably the words that are the most magical to me – they speak to my heart both as a writer, and as a Christian.

What words speak into your life the most?


“Oh, that my words were written!
Oh, that they were inscribed in a book!
That they were engraved on a rock
With an iron pen and lead, forever!
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
Job 19:23-27 NKJV

Rebekah LoperRebekah Loper began creating fictional worlds as a child. Now, she is married, has a garden, keeps chickens, cats, and a dog, and is a NaNoWriMo ML. Read more about her on her blog Fantasia Hearth.

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