One of the tricks to good writing is knowing when to be quiet. Either some details don’t need to be shared at all – the well-known concept of the iceberg – or they need to be released incrementally. The flood gates need not be opened wide; a trickle is sufficient.
Second grade. The Indian in the Cupboard. The first, “big” book I read all by myself. The first that introduced me to the world of words and the adventures contained therein. The first to capture my fancy and make me fall in love with reading and writing.
The words use, usage, and utilize suffer from a malady: they share common etymological roots. Those roots do not make the word synonyms; it only means that they are related in much the same way that cousins are related. The way to determining when to use one of the words is entirely dependent on their definitions and the surrounding context.
Fiction houses two characters: round and flat. Both have roles to play in a story. The problem, except in the case of a plot-driven story, occurs when the main character, usually the protagonist but sometimes an antagonist, never leaves the realm of flat.
Choices can be placed into one of two categories: black and white ones and gray ones. Black and white ones aren’t necessarily easy to make even if the right choice is obvious; The Little Mermaid is an example. Ariel knows what is right, but she chooses what is wrong. She disobeys her father and finds herself facing the consequences. Even though everything comes aright in the end, she doesn’t know that it will in the midst of the disobedience and resulting pain. She only knows that she is losing her prince, her father, her friends, and very possibly herself.