Wednesday’s Word: Virid
If you’ve been reading this series for any length of time, you probably know that I have a penchant for older sounding words. I just find them generally more eloquent and expressive than more modern sounding phrases, I suppose. I also feel that they broaden my horizon as a writer and allow me to say things in unconventional way. Well today’s word is another one of those old sounding words.
Virid refers to something green, for example vegetation. Verdant is a very similar word (and another favorite of mine). You might find it used to describe a virid forests or a virid plain or even a Virid Ridge…Did you catch that last one? Those capital letters were not accidental. What I’m referring to there is a place described in my novel, Into the Vast. In fact, you can find it mentioned in the glossary if you’ve forgotten what it means.
If you’ve read the novel, you know that it takes place in a desert and there is really nothing green whatsoever about Virid Ridge or any place else for that matter. So why the misnomer? Well, when I think of nature, it’s not something static. Change is happening all the time. At times, it can happen very quickly. A look at the landscapes of places that have recently been hit by some form of natural disaster demonstrates this rather starkly.
I also wanted to convey the idea that the world of the Vast had a past, a history to it, that the present story was the result of past stories. I think this adds to the richness of a fictional world, this sense that there is something larger happening.
Was the world once green? And if so, what happened to it? There is this underlying mystery there and I think that is also part of what makes a good story, that certain questions are left to the imagination of the reader. I’m not saying that I don’t have ideas of my own about it, but if a story were to resolve every enigma it sets forth, a book might not ever end, and I think it might actually be rather dull if it did.
So here’s to mystery and imagination, to green deserts, and transformed worlds. Because when it comes to fiction, some questions are better left unanswered…for now.