Tag Archives: The Latest Word


Embrangle The Latest Word is: Embrangle: To entangle, confuse, perplex.

The Oxford English Dictionary has embrangle coming into common usage in the 1600s but its etymology dates back to the early 1500s with brangle, which, I’ve decided, is a cool word all on its own and may have to write a post on it, too—when we come back around to B. 😀

Here’s how we use it:

They were embrangled in the nets.

I am embrangled and torn between conflicting difficulties.

I like this word. So similar to the physical act of entanglement but with the added definition of a mental struggle. This is a word that even upon first glance, the reader should be able to determine its meaning based on its use in the sentence, even if they’d never happened upon the word before in their life (which I hadn’t until I read the entry).

Characters are often embrangled within their plot lines, and as an author, I am often embrangled in the plot itself. I have a rough outline, but as I write the story, it fleshes itself out and twists and turns and takes new and unexpected forks in the road—some of which are entirely pointless and must be deleted. And far too often, half way through the story, in the murky, messy middle, all the plot holes and character motivational misfires start to rear their ugly heads. This is because I am a pantser—someone who basically flies by the seat of their pants when writing—as opposed to a plotter who meticulously plots out every scene, every arc, every development BEFORE they add a single word to the story. There is something to be said about plotting, and I’m going to try and write my next book with this approach because I am convinced, after Avelynn #2, that pantsing is NOT an efficient way to write a book!

In the murky, messy, pantser middle, I am often embrangled. Big time. The second book in the Avelynn series was very difficult to fix. I wrote 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo (a monthly writing challenge that takes place every November whereby we write 50,000 words in 30 days) most of which steered me off coarse and embrangled me in plot snares and character black holes that were almost impossible to recover from. The novel followed so many divergent threads, that I got to the point where I wasn’t sure what the premise was, or even what the main point was anymore!

With characters, to embrangle them in messy plot choices and make them clamber out of the carnage is what makes a story great. We can’t have characters riding along on sunshine and roses, we have to make the struggle, we need to throw story curves and plot bombs in their path and make them dodge or take a hit and recover. That’s what’s so fun about writing books. Creating conflict and fascinating surprises and developments that seem to come out of the blue, or that have been building for chapters and acts. To embrangle is to drive the story forward, and there’s a satisfying almost sadistic glee to the whole thing. ;D

I’ve finished the first draft of Avelynn #2 and am currently working on fixing up the wayward threads as I work my way through my round of edits. Hopefully, the embranglement from this point forward will be limited to what I’ve created for my characters and the rest of the edits flow smoothly. Cross your fingers for me. 🙂

In gratitude,

Marissa xo

You Draggle-tailed Bicche!

The Latest Word: Draggle


To wet or befoul (a garment, etc.) by allowing it to drag through mire or wet grass, or to hang untidily in the rain; to make wet, limp, and dirty.


A draggle-tailed person; a woman whose skirts are wet and draggled, or whose dress hangs about her untidily and dirty; a slut.

Oh, I can have fun with this one! Used around the fifteenth/sixteenth century, I can’t wait to sneak this into one of my manuscripts.

During the many rounds of edits for Avelynn, I had the opportunity to work with a wonderful copyeditor, whose job it was to point out words that sounded grossly anachronistic for the tone and style of the novel. After perusing the changes, I sort of set upon a kind of lose time frame for my writing—anything that originated prior to the seventeenth century most likely stayed in the manuscript. Anything that was first used after 1600 tended to sound rather modern, but then again, not always. It was definitely a one word at a time approach, and sometimes, I had to leave the word in because there really wasn’t a good alternative.

Here’s some exciting ways to use our new D words:

I draggled behind. (The word can also mean to go slowly, trailing).

The onslaught was relentless; the horse’s pace mired to a crawl. I slid down, landed squelching in the muck, and pulled on the reins, urging the beast to press onward. We needed to find shelter. My cloak draggling behind soon weighed as much as a small cow, so drenched was it in mud and slime that the horse began to grow impatient with me.

“You draggle-tailed bicche!”

Yes, I think I’ll have fun with this.

In gratitude,

Marissa 🙂 xo