First things first, I have to brag and point out my word count! 48,635 words, and 16 chapters written! Just 18 days ago I was at 28,676 words and 9 chapters. That’s almost exactly 20,000 words in 18 days. And I’m planning to get at least 1 more chapter written this week. So yeah, I’m gonna brag about it.
Now to the point of this post- My last post was all about description, but I noticed that I skimmed over one fairly important and super helpful part of improving description. Words. One of the easiest ways to improve description is by improving your words.
All I said about that previously was to have a thesaurus handy. I’ve also found some charts that I like to keep handy for when I need a better word for those that are commonly overused.
Some of them we notice we use far too often, like “a lot”, “good”, and “said”. Some of them we don’t notice as easily, for example, “looks”, “so”, and “like”. Like is the biggest one I use without noticing. It sneaks in, and even when I read back through it doesn’t pop out at me. Probably a hazard of growing up in Southern California. The last one is synonyms for “walk”, which is something characters do constantly and writers are always looking for new words for it.
“Very” is another terrible word we use frequently without realizing it. It’s a BAD modifier. I complained about modifiers in my last post, and now I’m giving examples of how to use stronger words instead of a modifier.
These charts are all about emotions. The first one is a wheel with the most basic emotions in the center and branches out into more specific feelings. I finally found one that was colored so it separates the emotions more clearly. The second chart is sorted by emotion at the top and strength on the side. I’ve found both charts to be super helpful in trying to convey specific emotions.
This chart is just a way to describe voices, which is something I generally struggle with simply because I can’t find description words to begin with. So I found a list. This helps incorporate sound into our writing to enhance the description without trying.