Writer’s Rule Number Three

Improve Your Vocabulary

By Annette Rey

These rules are basic to our very existence as writers and you may tend to ignore them. But any flower needs water to blossom, to grow to its full potential, to bring its beauty to the world.

Your brain needs the type of food to expand your writing skills and the basic blocks that build a sentence are words. The more words you know (and their definitions) the more beautiful the sentences you can build. Like a flower in its bloom, your writing should captivate and enthrall, capture and entertain, charm and enchant your readers.

Let’s look at a plan to be intentional in improving your vocabulary.

Words create pictures in my mind. To me, an individual descriptive word transports me to an ethereal place. When I see a word like enthrall I feel enthrallment. I get excited because the word enthrall holds a promise of something exciting to come, a promise that I’m going to become immersed in what comes next.

Yes. One word can engender strong emotion and strong interest to encourage a person to read further.

String words together with talent, based on background study of them, and you create a magical reading experience for your audience.

Easy options for learning vocabulary

1)  You can do quick look-ups on the Web.

2)  Find books from your local library or buy books on vocabulary. As you can afford to do so, build a personal reference library.

3)  Acquire books on famous quotations. This makes the reading interesting and you are bound to widen your knowledge of words.

4)  Books on weird facts are entertaining as well as informing. As a bonus, you will gather new information to make your conversations more colorful. Also, you might win at Trivia the next time you play.

5)  Read anything. This goes back to Writers Rule Number One. As you read and encounter an unfamiliar word, stop and look up the definition. Learn how to pronounce the word.

6)  For any writer, but for anyone who learns better by watching video, I suggest The Great Books DVD called Building a Better Vocabulary, presented by Kevin Flanagan, Ph.D. A 296-page course guidebook is included that follows the course plan. Streaming video comes with your purchase. This course presents a practical plan to learn vocabulary with tactics and techniques that will embed words into your memory.

7)  Begin a vocabulary notebook for all of the new words you have discovered. The Great Courses DVD on vocabulary instructs how to efficiently create this helpful tool.

You may have other ideas on how to learn new words. Please share these ideas with other people pursuing a more versatile language and enjoy all you do to become a better writer.

Just remember that the more you know, the easier your writing will flow.

One thought on “Writer’s Rule Number Three

  1. A long while back I had word a day calendar. I took each word and mad it a prompt for my morning pages. They were all very Obsequious. Now though I’m in it for the fun. Having the vocab is great but most requires too much explanation to the masses

    Either way this is very good advice. I don’t mean to correct you

    Laugh enough today to fill tomorrow. Then Laugh Tomorrow


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