By Annette Rey
Related word exercise is as in Quiz #1. That is, substitute specific words for general terms. This will enrich your writing.
PLATES COWS TREES RACES
Plates – like dinnerware
Cows – give a more expressive word – bovine and cattle are still general terms
Trees – one hundred thousand species exist
Races – get creative!
Most writing contains scenes of the outdoors. How much better a sentence sounds that uses the correct terms for trees. You don’t need to be a botanist, but having basic knowledge on any subject helps your reader to trust what you say. Also, drawing on that knowledge as you write speeds up your writing. Here is a tiny lesson in trees.
Trees are divided into two categories: deciduous and coniferous. Deciduous trees have a broader leaf than conifers, are grown for their valuable hardwood, grow in a more round appearance, and drop their leaves in autumn. Some examples are: dogwoods, hickory, tulip tree.
Conifers are evergreens, have long pointed needles and flat-scaled leaves, are softwood, and grow upwards in a triangular shape. Some examples are: various pine (be specific! – like Jack pine), spruce (the same – like Norway spruce), fir, yew, etc.
To be a more reliable writer, take the time to look up what kinds of trees, or any plants you mention, grow in the area of which you are writing. It would be embarrassing to say palms are native to Colorado or mention the alder in Hawaii – unless it is the red alder.
Research is important. Your reader will respond subconsciously to the amount of detail you add to your work. Grow your ability to recall specific words for your writing projects.
Exercises like these word games save you time as your writing will flow uninterrupted by a search for words.