W is for Words

The Letter WWriters are often lovers of words. They are the tools of our trade. I love poring over lists of obscure or forgotten words to see if one will spark a story idea.

For example:

anuptaphobia: Fear of staying single

What if an individual was born into a world that was populated only by multiple-birth offspring – twins, triplets, etc?

growlery: A retreat for times of ill humour.

What if there was a society of people that were exceedingly polite and each person had their own specific place to go to when they were having a bad day – a place to be alone and think?

haecceity: The aspect of existence on which individuality depends; the hereness and nowness of reality.

What if there was a society of people that only lived in the “now”? If they had no concept or words for the past or future, they only dwelled in the present moment?

nepenthe: Something, such as a drink or a drug, capable of making one forget suffering.

What if a man invented a drug that could make you forget suffering and bad memories? (Besides alcohol, that is.) What if the effects were temporary? What if they were permanent?

zetetic: Proceeding by inquiry; a search or investigation; a skeptical seeker of knowledge.

What if this was a job title? What if the province’s zetetic was called in whenever there was a crime or mystery to be solved?

My Idea:

William Fox School, twins and gradsI’ve already listed several ideas above, but my mind keeps churning on these. It would be interesting to combine several of these concepts into one story.

Imagine a society where multiple-children births is the norm. Whenever single children are born, they are pre-destined to be zetetics – impartial, skeptical investigators. One particular zetetic, who struggles with his singular existence, is called to investigate a murder in which all of the witnesses have taken (by choice or by trickery) nepenthe, causing them to forget the crime.

Do you find that rare or unusual words spark story ideas for you?

For a wonderful collection of words, check out phrontistery.com.

Check out other blogs in the challenge!