I disappoint myself on occasion. Some people might argue it’s my perfectionism rearing it’s ugly head, and they’re right at times. I sometimes hold myself to an untenable standard. Other times, I have a legitimate reason to be disappointed with myself.
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.
Therefore, my dear friend, I know of no other advice than this: Go within and scale the depths of your being from which your very life springs forth…For the creative artist must be a world of his own and must find everything within himself and in nature, to which he has betrothed himself.
- “The First Letter,” Rainer Maria Rilke