If you choose to believe hype, naysayers, and anything posted online about what you should and shouldn’t do with your words, then this post isn’t for you.
If you’re like me and love to read, frequently peruse these online guru sites for information, and then tend to dismiss much of what they hype as being now, in, good, beneficial, etc., to your own writing, then welcome to the wonderful world of WORDS.
It used to be said that a dictionary was a reader’s or knowledge-seekers best friend, and maybe that still rings true today, though I doubt it based on everything I’ve learned after reading said opinions online, but it doesn’t really matter. My best friend is the Thesaurus. I’m also a writer who wants to become a recognized Author, and I may well be shooting myself in the foot this way, but I adore adjectives, adverbs, action words, and the infrequent use of SAID in dialogue tags.
Whenever I find them, I will always re-pin Synonym images for commonly used or frequently read words. Words that wear out their welcome in my book. I’m not afraid to use something unusual or even … what’s the word everyone likes to use to describe words that no longer carry any weight today? Ah, yes. Antiquated.
I’ve also read advice that suggests you steer clear of anything too informal or even ordinary in your writing. I’m beginning to gather that they’re trying to keep us from name dropping in order to prevent them from becoming suddenly passé, but I can’t be certain. Anyway, another word for this is colloquialisms. One of the most amazing words I’ve ever encountered and one that ranks high on my lovely list of beautiful sounding words more than for the meaning attached.
To pinpoint one word in particular as being a favorite is impossible for me. I like the sound or the implication of so many unusual, archaic, and big words that it’s difficult to jot them all down in one sitting. I collect these types of words, and over time open the .doc file to look at them, say them out loud, and then wonder how best to use them in my stories.
The star above is a cute example of just a few of my favorite words.
Online, I like to use thesaurus.com for inspiration and education about words. Type in any word you want, and the page is suddenly filled with dozens of synonyms (and even their antonyms) that are logically broken down into sub-category based on meaning/usage.
What you can learn by using thesaurus.com: Lovely becomes Resplendent, but only if you mean beautiful as an adjective for physically attractive. What fun! And, how pretty is the word resplendent.
It offers trendy and slang suggestions, and there are common/informal buttons to press along with slides to change relevance, complexity, and word length. Thorough and fabulous place to be if you’re looking for something new to say or write or add to your blog post.
Authors who are capable of writing and publishing historical anything, including Romance, have the added benefit of using these types of words and getting away with it. Contemporary writers like me (because I’m too cowardly to attempt something that requires copious amounts of knowledge) not so much. Still, this doesn’t deter me from wanting to use other words besides the here and now kind, the familiar kind, and the least taxing to the brain kind.
Ironically, or should I choose absurdly, my love of history is practically on par with my love of words. I’ve been pouring over every ounce of history since the fourth grade and still feel only slightly confident in that knowledge to be able to tackle Historical Romance writing. It is something I read and enjoy, but something that seems a bit too tedious (laborious) to want to grapple with just yet.
Maybe some day.
Questions: do you prefer SAID over any, other form of dialogue tag or not? Do you like to buck the odds and choose unfamiliar words every so often within your work, or do you avoid them? Do you have a favorite word or three that isn’t commonly used today? Please share them with me. I’m always on the hunt for new and exciting words.
Have an unwonted day everyone! 😀