Find the Word, and Magic…!

[found on tameri.com]

“We believe the greater the vocabulary, the more concise the writing. Unfortunately, readers might not understand what you write. The definitions for some words listed are not the “common” meanings; we have chosen to focus on the words and meanings used to impress audiences.

Serious readers enjoy new words and writers love using the rare greats. Reading teaches vocabulary as we study context at all levels: elemental grammar, plot, setting, and more. Readers thrill at the discovery of new words; writers should thrill at using them wisely. There is more to words than winning at Scrabble™.”

Example of what you’ll find on their site:

abrogate (v) – void, do away with, repeal

abscond (v) – to depart secretly

abstemious (adj) – moderate in consumption

brook (v) – to endure, tolerate

bucolic (adj) – rustic, pastoral, natural; simple

celerity (n) – speed, rapidity

censure (v) – to rebuke officially

chary (adj) – wary, cautious

diffuse (adj) – spread out, wide-ranging; using too many words

dilate (v) – expand

dilatory (adj) – delaying

enervate (v) – to weaken, to drain, to take vitality from

engender (v) – to create, to produce, to cause

feign (v) – to pretend, act, deceive

fervent (adj) – emotional; zealous

fester (v) – ulcerate; rankle. festering (v)

garner (v) – gather, store up

garrulity (n) – talkativeness

impervious (adj) – resistant, strong, incapable of being affected

impalpable (adj) – imperceptible, intangible

jejune (adj) – poor; unsatisfying

jetsam (n) – object tossed overboard to lighten a ship

kinematic (adj) – relating to motion

knavery (n) – untrustworthiness; lack of principles

libidinous (adj) – lustful

licentious (adj) – sexually immoral

mellifluous (adj) – sweet like/as honey

mendacious (adj) – dishonest. mendacity (n)

nebulous (adj) – vague, cloudy, murky; lacking form

neologism (n) – a new word or usage

neophyte (n) – convert; beginner, novice

obfuscate (v) – to make confusing; to mislead

objurgate (v) – to scold

paucity (n) – scarcity; lack

pedagogue (n) – narrow-minded teacher

quaff (v) – to drink; to quench thirst

qualm (n) – misgiving, reservation

refutation (n) – disproof of opponents arguments

reciprocal (adj) – mutual, shared, exchanged in kind

sanction (n/v) – permission, authorized; a penalty

sanguine (adj) – cheerful; hopeful

sapient (adj) – wise; shrewd

taciturn (adj) – silent; not fond of talking

tantamount (adj) – equivalent in effect or value

taut (adj) – tight, tense

ubiquitous (adj) – everywhere, widespread

ulterior (adj) – unstated; hidden

venerate (v) – to respect. veneration (n)

veracity (n) – truthfulness, honesty

wangle (v) – bring about by manipulation

welter (n/v) – turmoil; to roll, to tumble

xenophobe (n) – one afraid of strangers

xyloid (adj) – like wood

yammer (v) – to talk with a sad tone

zymotic (adj) – of fermentation; caused by disease”

 

[found on http://www.tameri.com/write/coolenglish.html]
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Too Weak To Write? Take Two Adverbs, and Don’t Call Me In The Morning

[found on darcknyt.deviantart.com]

“The real question to ask isn’t whether Mrs. Swingingjowls was right or wrong in teaching you to modify your sentences with adverbs.  The question is, why are you modifying your verbs with adverbs?

This is an easy one to answer, when you think about it:

Because your verbs are weak.

Mark Twain once said, “Adverbs are the tool of the lazy writer.”  Amen, Mark.

See, what’s going on is, you’re using a word that doesn’t really convey the sense, the feeling, the mood or whatever, you’re hoping to get across to your reader.  “Walk” isn’t a very exciting word, and it doesn’t get across the antsy feeling you’re trying to portray in your description, so you make it “walk quickly” or “quickly walked”.  You want your reader to see the force, the power in your characters’ argument, so instead of saying “they shouted across the table” you say “they shouted angrily and vehemently across the table.”

The problem is, the verbs you’ve chosen aren’t doing the job you wanted them to do in the first place.  You don’t want your character to walk, you want your character to hasten, hurry, quick-step.  You don’t want your characters shouting, you want them spitting words through clenched teeth, veins throbbing on reddened necks, molars locked and spittle misting between them.

The reason you’re reaching for adverbs to tell the story is because the verbs you’ve chosen are too weak to do it for you.  The adverb isn’t the solution, however.  Strengthening your writing is.

Think about this: If the verbs you’re using to describe the action in your story are weak and flimsy, the action description may be weak and flimsy too.

You wouldn’t be writing something with the intent of being flimsy or weak, would you?  The reason you’re grabbing adverbs in the first place is because of discontent with what’s being said without them, right?

Why bother with modifiers for words that aren’t cutting it in the first place?  The real crux of the problem is finding the right actions and descriptions for those actions, so that modifiers — adverbs AND adjectives — will be needed with rare and prudent infrequency.

When you’re writing adult fiction, the need to limit — if not eliminate — adverbs altogether becomes pretty obvious.  What adult wants to read a grade school type of book?

No, adults want to be pulled into the story, and be engaged by it.  The use of adverbs won’t get the job done, and loses the reader early on.

Show, Don’t Tell — Adverbs are NOT Good Description

With the evil adverb dragging your writing down, it’s now safe to say that using adverbs isn’t a way to make a lousy description good.  It’s a lazy way to make a weak description obvious.

What adverbs do, in a nutshell, is tell the reader what’s going on in the story.  That’s NOT what you want to do.

“But — I thought I was TELLING a story here?”

No.  You’re not.  If you’re a serious writer, you’re not “telling” a story, you’re SHOWING a story.

Don’t be lazy.  Be specific.  Use specific nouns and verbs to do the bulk of the work in your writing.  By letting good, descriptive words do the heavy lifting, the occasional adjective and adverb aren’t the problematic, amateur-flagging beacons common in weak writing.”

For more great tips from DarcKnyt, click HERE.

[found on http://darcknyt.deviantart.com/journal/The-Use-of-Adverbs-in-Fiction-Writing-214175181]