Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Building Vocabulary . . . this week's letter is E

As writers we often fall into the rut of using the same tired words over and over again. I understand if the story is compelling enough, readers don't always notice our stuck-in-rut trend. Personally, I'm longing for more creativity.

I considered my options for the bigger word trek.

Several of my fellow writing gurus plop open the dictionary --yep, the old fashioned one with pages and everything -- then pursue a particular letter. Sounds doable.

Some of my friends increased the size of their language skills through higher academic degrees. A number of years ago, a dear friend obtained her MBA from SMU. When I asked what a difference the higher-priced degree made in her life, she said, 'I paid for a twenty-thousand dollar vocabulary. The right words make people notice.'

*MAKE PEOPLE NOTICE*


As a writer that should be my job.

So how to accomplish this increase in my 'learned' vocabulary. I'm too old for a MBA -- nor would I ever have the stamina for this challenge. The dictionary exercise is fun and entertaining, but solitary. It's all about me and what I observe. For my intense learning, I wanted something more interactive.

To that end, I'll post a letter each week, list the words that I can think of, that I would use in normal writing or conversation -- not what I'd find from the thesaurus -- but words that I own.

Play along, and add more words for that letter.

Is this in the typical A, B, C order? Naw, that might staunch creativity.

This week's letter is E:
1) evidence -- my latest romantic suspense deals with lawyers and 'political' backroom deals gone awry. Evidence is essential for my heroine to undercover the 'real' villains.
2) exhilarate -- what I feel when writing.
3) enthrall -- I've been writing love scenes and hope my characters are totally enthralling or charming each other at this point in the book.
4) exercise -- what I feel guilty about NOT doing.
5) energetic -- what I'd feel if did more of word #4.
6) eviscerate -- just used this in writing yesterday, means to take away something vital. Is that a strong word or what?
7) eerie -- love the concept, can never spell the word without spell check.
8) entertained -- what I hope my writing accomplishes.
9) enthusiastic -- what I'll feel when I bang out the last 60 pages of my work-in-progress (WIP).
10) edgy -- what I want my suspense books to contain.

This is only a start, but I'm searching to 'expand' (snuck that one in) my 'entire' E collection.

Rain has arrived in Texas and the weather is holding in the mid-80s. Lovely! Even if we have a few (more like an epidemic --one more E to close on) of mosquitoes. Do drop by the porch again. I have plenty of bug spray.

Until later
~Sandra

9 comments:

Katie Reus said...

Very cool!! I like the idea of building vocabulary! And you're right, doing #4, gives more of #5, lol! I've been forcing myself to run/bike a lot more lately and my writing amount has increased by almost double per day...don't know if it's all in my head though. Either way...:)

Pam said...

I like the *make people notice.* That's a great statement.

Hope you're not going to get clobbered by Ike!

naida said...

interesting post!
I agree with number 7 :)

http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

Marilyn Brant said...

Enthusiastically Enjoyed your word list :).

Has the rain been especially intense because of Ike? How is everything going down there?

L.A. Mitchell said...

epidemic..not just for sickness
ebb...creeps in WAY too often in mine
eccentric
existential
ecstatic
eddies...not just for Haskels :)

Hope you have an Excellent day...

Sandra Ferguson said...

Thanks, Marilyn for asking. We're all fine in our part of Texas. As a matter of fact, we didn't even get enough rain to make the ground soggy. Alas, such is the life of the Texas weather.

Thanks, everyone for commenting.

Don't forget to leave me your favorite words next time. This game will be back.

Vwriter said...

Hello Sandra. I'm glad to have come across your writing blog because I love reading your posts. They are both interesting and instructive and I hope you don't mind me dropping by again. Nice work.

Leah Braemel said...

Oh, I love this post. I was once told at a different "literary" writers' group that "Romances are written by and for people with a grade 8 education." And they were serious. I stopped going to that group after that.

KeyLawk said...

In reading Proulx' SHIPPING NEWS, found so many examples of "local argot"--I just know she spent time really collecting words from cafes and docks, not just from dictionaries. For example, "scurf", "nip of the knot", "gledgy", "nippers", "turr", "soughing waves", "thunge of sea". My hope is that you bein' Texan, you pull in some of the blue-bonnet chigger words off your back porch. I look forward to reading your books.

Texas sayings

~Watch your step! Cacti, tumbleweeds, and an occasional armadillo might be ahead.

~Welcome to the land of tar-bubbling summers, gas-guzzling pickup trucks, standard Stetson headgear, and mile-high hair.

~Welcome to the Lone Star State, and Romance With A Texas Twist!

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