by Edie Melson
We’re writers, so it’s a given that we’re word people.
For most of us it goes way beyond just a love of words. Writing is the way we process the world around us. As a matter of fact, I was having a discussion with someone who was bemoaning the fact that I’m nearly as nice in person as I am on paper.
Unfortunately she’s right. I’m not.
It’s not that I don’t try, I really do. But I need the opportunity to filter my words through the act of putting them on paper first.
And that brings me to the point of this post. How do we find that perfect word when we’re trying to convey something on paper? Today I want to share how I go about searching for that elusive holy grail of writing.
1. The Thesaurus. I know, this is kind of a no-brainer. But I’m amazed at the number of writers who skip this step. I have a physical thesaurus on the shelf above my desk, but more often than that, I use an online version. My favorite is Thesaurus.com.
2. The Dictionary. It’s not as easy to use as a thesaurus, but sometimes I’ll thumb through the pages and find just what I’m looking for.
3. The Emotion Thesaurus. This reference book from Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman should be in every writer’s library. They have two new books out as well, The Positive Trait Thesaurus and The Negative Trait Thesaurus. You can find out all about them at Writers Helping Writers.
4. Facebook & Twitter. You can ask for word suggestions by posting the request on social media. This will not only get you what you’re looking for, but up your visibility and interaction on social media (always a good thing).
5. Free Writing. Sometimes nothing beats old-fashioned pen and paper. I start writing around what I want to say and I come up with some pretty amazing stuff.
These are the things I do when the just-right word evades my catch. What do you do when the cat’s got your tongue?
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Finding the Right Word - tips for attaining the Holy Grail of Writing - via @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)