Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Are You a Good Recruiter of Words?

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

It matters the words we choose. 

Stir up or inciteWeaken or languishMove or sway? When you consider which word to write next, do you also consider the power behind the word? How it sounds to the reader’s inner ear? What picture it portrays? 

You are more than just a writer of words—you are a recruiter as well. 

Our words are our allies. They prove our point, illustrate our thoughts, and fight our battles. Are you seeking to vanquish hopelessness in the minds of your readers? Choose your words carefully. Are you illustrating a story of redemption and second chances? Pick your allies wisely.

A limp word fights against your purposes, acting as a weak soldier in your ranks. Not every word needs to wear shiny armor, but your army of paragraphs and sentences should be filled with vivid nouns and verbs that relay your message and fight against the evils and lies of this world.  They should engrave truth, strength, and hope onto the souls of your readers. How effective is your army?

Another Ally

Rarely does a first draft pop out of our minds filled with just the right words. Using a red pen (or another color) helps us to identify any weak points in our writing and reinforces our chances of being published and making an impact on the readers’ minds and hearts. 

If a red pen looks more like an enemy than a friend, it’s okay to pick another color. Once you’ve written a first draft, read your writing and use a colored pen or pencil to circle any words in your paragraphs that appear limp instead of battle ready. To the side of that line of words, jot down some alternative “soldiers,” words that better illustrate what you want to say or convey a stronger feeling you want the reader to experience. 

Becoming Battle Ready

If you’re like me and you reach a point in your writing where you just don’t know what words to use, check out some books or articles by other “generals.” Read your favorite authors, and see what words they recruited to capture the readers’ attention, prove their points, and etch a lasting impression on their readers’ hearts. 

Don’t let vivid nouns and verbs take position in only your titles and first lines. Position them throughout your paragraphs to maintain the power behind your words, either helping the reader to fly through a page or causing them to slow down and contemplate your writing.  

One last thing. I’ve found it’s never best to fight alone. I treasure the writer friends who have helped my words become more battle ready. Ask another recruiter to size up the power and punch of your words, and take to heart any helpful feedback that is given. Recruit the nouns and verbs that deliver just the right touch or the perfect punch.  

What strategies do you use in picking just the right words? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and happy recruiting. One vivid word after another. 


Katy Kauffman is an award-winning author, an editor of Refresh Bible Study Magazine, and a co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies. She loves connecting with writers and working alongside them in compilations. Her compilation, Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character, was a 2019 Selah Awards finalist and Director’s Choice finalist. Katy’s writing can be found at,, the Arise Daily blog,, and two blogs on writing. She loves spending time with family and friends, making jewelry, and hunting for the best donuts. Connect with her at her blog, The Scrapbooked Bible Study, and on Facebook and Twitter


  1. Choosing the right words for a story or a conversation takes time, prayer and the ability to forgive ourselves if we use the wrong words. :-)

  2. This was a fun call to arms, Katy. Thanks for encouraging us in such a creative way :)

  3. I’ve learned that I can rely on your posts for timely , relevant, USEFUL information with practical applications. Very cool. Thank you.

  4. Thanks for this creative and inspiring article to make our writing the best it can be, Katy, and my first go-to is to click on the synonym button on my computer, but I google synonyms for my words regularly, too.

  5. Katy, what a fun and helpful post about word choice! I use a online thesaurus, and I’m starting a collection of words with punch in my bullet journal.

  6. Wonderful post Ms. Katy. Never considered myself "going to war" with my words, but I do see the need for my writing to be "battle ready." I love your idea of using more expressive words when we can. Thank you!

  7. Katy,thank you for this helpful post. I love collecting words for future projects.