Thesauruses are often one of writers’ best friends, especially in times of drafting and editing. You don’t want to be repetitive. You want the word that sounds just right, and sometimes a nice Thesaurus provides you with some nifty words that for some reason elude your mind.
As someone who still has a fondness for paperbacks, I own an Oxford Thesaurus. I also make use of my built-in one that came with my MacBook Air. I occasionally use dictionary.com.
But I recently took up the habit of making a list of most-needed/liked words and phrases. I’ll be reading an article and I’ll see a word that fits the image I have in my head. I underline the stuff I loved in other books/magazines/blogs…Some of them even served as unintentional writing prompts. Ah…the mysterious (and slightly crazy) mind of the writer…
And let’s face it, while there are many ways your character can walk/enter/move/run…etc., only one or two will describe his mood and speed perfectly without contrasting his personality or situation.
Using the right word also eliminates unnecessary adverbs and adjectives. Don’t get me wrong. I might be the in the minority as a writer as I love those parts of speech. Still, some of them are redundant and if you can make your piece smoother, you go ahead and do it.
So there. I’m, with the help the stuff I’m reading and other Thesauruses at hand, forming my own. Because I know what I need. I know what my characters need.
And it makes the process much faster.
What are your go-to resources for the writing process? Have you thought about collecting your favorite vocabulary?
To conclude, here’s a funny video from Friends on why we shouldn’t overuse anything, thesauruses.:)
P.S. I was also recommended Chambers Dictionary for Mac.