FINDING THE BEST WORD FOR THE JOB
by Rayne Hall
Specific words make a story vivid because they paint a clear picture for the reader.
“A woman with a dog” creates only a vague picture. By replacing “woman” and “dog” with specific words you can bring your story alive:
“A lady with a poodle”
“A tart with a mongrel”
“A gothgirl with a puppy”
“A redhead with a Rottweiler”
“The man looked like a sports champion” is bland. Show us what kind of man and what kind of sports, and the sentence becomes interesting:
“The gentleman looked like a fencing champion.”
“The thug looked like a boxing champion.”
“The salesman looked like a sumo champion.”
Instead of the dull description with generic words “This garden is full of flowers of all kinds” show the kind of flowers to paint a picture:
“This garden is full of roses, honeysuckles, and hollyhocks” - The reader sees a cottage garden.
“This garden is full of crocuses, daffodils and tulips.” - The reader sees a garden in spring.
“The garden is full of daisies, dandelions and thistles.” - The reader sees a garden overgrown with weeds.
|Vague: "Woman holding a boat" Specific: "Sea Witch tormenting the galleon"|
Before tackling your own manuscript, you may want to practice on these sentences. Use your imagination to replace the underlined generic words with specific ones.
I went further down the road until I came to a building half hidden by trees.
She put on her new dress and shoes and applied make-up.
For dinner, he ate meat with vegetables.
Post your versions as comments. I look forward to reading them.-->
Rayne Hall is professional writer and editor. She has had over 30 books published under several pen names, in several genres(mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction), in several languages (mostly English, German, Polish and Chinese), by several publishers, under several pen names. For a list of currently published fiction under the Rayne Hall pen name, go to http://www.amazon.com/Rayne-Hall/e/B006BSJ5BK
Her recent books include Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel), Writing Fight Scenes (for authors), Writing Scary Scenes (for authors), Six Scary Tales Vol 1, 2 and 3 (mild horror stories) and more.
She is the editor of the Ten Tales series of themed multi-author short story anthologies: Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Scared: Ten Tales of Horror, Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates, and others.
She teaches online workshops for intermediate, advanced and professional level writers who are serious about improving their writing craft skills. Caution: these classes are not suitable for beginners or the faint-of-heart! For a list of her currently scheduled workshops, see https://sites.google.com/site/writingworkshopswithraynehall/