POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE
The Mighty Thesaurus
By Nandy Ekle
Writing a story can be a little like playing chess. You want to be descriptive, but still allow the reader to imagine their own pictures. And you want your words to fit your characters.
One thing that can happen, and I’m the queen of this, is getting hung up on the same word. It’s the perfect word to describe what you’re talking about, it fits your character, and it sounds just great. However, it can become distracting to the story to hear the same word over and over. The best way to test your work for an “echo” is to read your story out loud.
When I discover this happening in my writing, I go to a thesaurus—a book of synonyms. It’s sort of like a dictionary. You type in the word that continues to show up on your pages and it gives you a list of words that mean the same thing. And sometimes there are some very interesting words in that list. Especially when you’re sitting at the desk in your office during lunch hour and people are walking around your desk.
Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.