I wrote a short story this week. I didn't intend to, but I'm not going to say no if one pops into my head and asks politely to be transcribed. The strange thing is, when I read it back, it didn't seem like the same story that had been in my head. Words are like that. Sometimes I think that's the property I like best about them, then, other times, it really bugs me.
It's back to that slippery chain of signification: you know the one? Sure you do. The theory that goes something like, every time you use a word, you move further away from the true meaning of what the thought of the thing was. But we only have the words we have (except I'm working on that), and are limited to a certain extent by them.
So, to explain more (forgive me if you know this already, I majored in soporifics), say you want to describe a thought, and we have a word for it, so you write 'house', only that's not quite what you had in your thought, so you write 'home', only that's not it either, but now you're two words away from what you thought: you're two links down that signification chain.
There is, as there always is, a more technical and accurate explanation. But, if a word never really does capture the meaning of what we mean, what does it matter?
In a week or two I'll go back to my story and one of two things will occur, possibly: either it will seem like a talented literary alien, from the planet Aliens of Literary Talent, has written it - in which case I shall be perplexed yet thrilled - or I will recognise it as a bracelet of my own clumsy making: words slipping down the slurry covered signification chain, and landing at my own hand.
Hullo! Aliens, are you there?