“A word is dead
When it is said,
I say it just begins
to live that day.”
— Emily Dickinson
“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™.”
“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”
“Looking for an accountability partner? A few tips:
1. Go where other writers go. Join a professional writing organization such as SCBWI. Attend retreats and conferences. Browse book festivals. Hang out at bookstores.
2. Think beyond locally. (Donna and I live twelve hours away from each other in different states.) So, strike up conversations on social media. Join online writing groups. Comment on writing blogs….
3. Don’t get hung up on writing genre. Writers are writers. (Apologies to Donna’s husband, but even porn writers are writers.) It doesn’t matter if you write romance novels and your potential accountability partner writes rhymed picture books. What matters is how each of you approach your work, the time each of you is willing to put into your writing, your openness toward learning, and your willingness to accept criticism.
4. Put the word out that you’re looking for a writing buddy, and like everything else in this business, keep plugging away until you find one.”
For more tips on writing from , click HERE.
“1. Make three versions: short, medium and long.
Most of the time, someone else will dictate the length of your bio. They will likely tell you how many words you can use to ensure that yours is the same length as other bios. Because of this, one bio will not do. You need three bios:
Each bio has its place. You will save you time and energy when the time comes time to post it, and establish consistency between every professional bio about you that is published.
2. Introduce yourself as if you’re meeting a stranger.
Lead in with your name. People need to know who you are before they hear what you’re all about.
3. Immediately state what you do.
If you are “Portrait Photographer,” don’t wait until the last moment to say it. Your most important details should go in the first sentence. Remember: people on the web rarely read more than the first and last sentence.
4. Touch upon your most important accomplishments.
Don’t list them, and make sure they fit. A bio is not a resume; it is simply a quick summary of who you are. If you have space, mention them. If not, ignore them.”
To see the rest of the ideas on writing a personal bio, click here.
A poem in which the first letter of each line spells out a word, name, or phrase when read vertically. See Lewis Carroll’s “A Boat beneath a Sunny Sky.”
In English, a 12-syllable iambic line adapted from French heroic verse. The last line of each stanza in Thomas Hardy’s “The Convergence of the Twain” and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “To a Skylark” is an alexandrine.
A word spelled out by rearranging the letters of another word; for example, “The teacher gapes at the mounds of exam pages lying before her.”
A love poem or song welcoming or lamenting the arrival of the dawn. The form originated in medieval France. See John Donne’s “The Sun Rising” and Louise Bogan’s “Leave-Taking.” Browse more aubade poems.”
The verbs are the action words. They put things in motion. Make yours as strong as possible.
The verb to be (am, is, are, was, were) puddles on the floor. Eliminate it wherever possible. I spent a year in Ukraine and experienced Russian, where the verb to be exists, but almost never appears. People simply leave it out and I found the effect powerful. In English we can’t leave verbs out of our sentences, but we can make those we use work hard for us.
Nouns name the people, places, and things in our world. English has multiple words for almost everything. A male parent can be father, dad, pop, daddy, the old man, pater, progenitor, sire, begetter, conceiver, governor, abba, papa, pa, pap, pappy, pops, daddums, patriarch, paterfamilias, stepfather, foster father, and other family nicknames. Choose the noun that does the best work for you.
Short words are usually best. They have more punch. They hit the gut hard.
The paragraph above has only one word with more than one syllable.”
For more exciting tips on writing from Writer’s Helper, click here.
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