The Mighty Thesaurus


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.

 

 

 

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Thesaurus – No, it’s not a dinosaur!


Thesaurus – No, it’s not a dinosaur! 

Although it sounds like an animal from the Jurassic age, a Thesaurus is a book that lists words in groups of synonyms and related concepts. The book we know as a Thesaurus, gets it’s name from the Greek word thēsauros, which means “storehouse, treasure.”

A Thesaurus is often one of the most undervalued books in a writer’s library of tools. To communicate with our audience of readers, we need to use any legitimate aid to help improve our literary product.

Compile related terms

Compile a list of words that relate to your subject or theme before you begin writing. This will give you a good start and help prevent writers block.

Access words that move

You can also access slang items, Colloquialisms, foreign phrases that may move your writing along.

Use appropriate words

When using a Thesaurus, Slow down. Read the entire list of words slowly and out loud, replacing them one-by-one in your sentences. By doing this, you are more likely to pick the most appropriate word for your writing.

Rory C. Keel