Monday Craft Tips #7: Finding the right word

Do you ever have that stuck feeling, when you’re trying to write and you just can’t find the right word? Or you think that everything you write sounds clichéd?

Buy a really good dictionary, and a blank notebook, and fill it with juicy words. You should try to do this for a short period of time (less than 15 minutes) every day.

Next, make yourself a word trap, a list of words and phrases for the piece you are working on. Open your notebook, write the numbers 1 to 25 down the left-hand side, and put 2 or 3 words and phrases on each line.

Here is an example:

  1. bay, waves, gray
  2. geese, reeds, crys
  3. wind, rustle, murmur
  4. rolling, crashing, sucking
  5. sand, mud, shells

As you can see, what is important about ALL of these words is that they are CONCRETE words that are perceived through the senses, rather than abstract notions that we think about. Try this, and see if it enriches your prose style.

Happy Writing!


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