Add Substance to Your Writing

Just a Horse or a Clydesdale?

By Annette Rey

If you are like me, you find it difficult to deal with idle time. I can’t even tolerate commercials when I am half-watching a television program. My mind is always on the move and inquiring and trying to catch writing ideas in whatever I am seeing. So, I invented a vocabulary-increasing “game” that one can use anywhere – while sitting in a car waiting for someone, waiting anywhere, and during those boring television commercials.

Here it is.

This exercise will help you to replace boring and common words in your writing. Learn to liven up your work with unusual, quirky, and powerful words.

Begin by inventing a list of spontaneously chosen first letters or use the first letters of words in a sentence or of words in a newspaper heading. Here is a short example. Beverly loves to read mystery stories.

Next pick a main grammar category like adjectives.

bouncy comes to mind, but it’s not a gripping word. Buoyant is better.

lackluster            leonine

tantalizing           triumphant

roach-ridden       rancorous

myopic                 majestic  

stoic                      strategic 

Now title the letter list nouns.

blowhard             bailiwick

larch                     lowrider

trajectory             townie

recumbent            raconteur

macrocosm          mastermind

sphinx                   Spartan

Now verbs.

blare                      barnstorm

longing                  lambaste

tinge                      transpire

reposed                 rescind    

marbleize             marginalize

satirize                 satiate

If you reverse this exercise, you can plug in the common word for each and see a profound difference between them, as in – lackluster (dull), bailiwick (talent), lambaste (scold).

Most of all, just enjoy your time immersing yourself in the wonderful world of words.








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