As writers, words are our tools. They are also the building blocks, mortar and cement that construct our stories. Choosing the right word at the right time is often difficult because there are so many different shades of meaning associated with single words.
When I read truly great writing, I'm not conscious of the word choices because the language flows together so seamlessly. Sometimes though, I read books where a single word or phrase stops me in my tracks because it's so obvious, so glaringly wrong or just out of place in that specific position.
I hate that. It pulls me out of the story and makes me aware I'm reading. I can often take a while to find my way back in again afterward.
Every now and then I read a book where the word choices are so bold and startling, they pull me out of the story for an entirely different reason. The image or emotion they evoke is so crystal clear, I have to dig out my notebook and write it down in case I forget it. The writer has found the perfect combination of words for the situation and I just have to seethe with envy because I didn't think of them.
Do words used beautifully excite you? Do words being brutalized drive you to distraction?