Writing is a craft and learning how to write is a matter of honing your skills and building your tool base. As a writer, I have a natural tendency to use the same words, again and again (see!) I am guilty of littering every paragraph with the descriptive ‘lovely’, ‘wonderful’ or ‘cool’. I have lost count of the number of times I have re-read a newly written piece and been exasperated as the same adjectives crop up.
For me, it has to be a conscious process to use a different word to describe the same thing. There is nothing more boring, or more revealing as a writer who does not know the meaning of ‘synonym’. It is a cornerstone in your foundation of ‘How to Write Well’.
One of my favourite tools is a website called Synonym Finder. Plug in your well worn word and it will divulge a universe of undiscovered or unremembered words to tantalise and intrigue. In fact, I spend precious writing time playing with the website; entering word after word and marvelling at the response. It is quite addictive.
Today for example, I entered ‘great’. I was composing an email to a friend who had just received some happy news. In the first 4 sentences I used ‘great’ 3 times. Very poor writing. So little imagination!
So off to Synonym finder I clicked and entered the offending 5 letter word. Look at what was returned…..
Superb! How peachy to use ‘corking’, ‘bully’, ‘bang up’ and ‘cracking’ in the same short email. It certainly makes for a more entertaining read!
What sloppy writing habits are you guilty of?
© Simone L Woods 2012
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