Hey authors: Are you a word hoarder? You should be.

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What if you could tap into the expanded vocabulary of authors you admire, with the end goal of using those words in your own writing? It’s easier than you think. Just start a Word Hoard.

I can’t take credit for the idea. That goes to Barbara Baig, author of Spellbinding Sentences. Well, historically, the concept traces way way back, but Baig has repurposed the term for writers and outlined a process for taking ownership of the interesting words we encounter in day to day life.

The first step is collection. From reading, eavesdropping and reflection, pull words that interest you from all sources of spoken and written language. And not just the words for which you are unclear on the meaning, also note the ones you know but have never used before. Step two: Record them in a centralized place. Next, learn and relearn their many meanings. Lastly my little spelling bee champs, “Can you use it in a sentence?” If you follow these steps, congratulations! You now own the vocab in your very own word hoard. Pretty soon, your newly acquired words will begin popping up in your own writing.

So today, I’d like to share from my word hoard, standout gems from different genres of novels I’ve read recently. Click below for definitions, and if you’re brave, brainstorm some sentences.

Admonish
Blahness
Cloying
Damask
Declaim
Dichotomy
Dulcet
Foist
Gamine
Ghettoize
Guileless
Heady
Ignoble
Interloper
Jocular
Lurid
Mottled
Ostensible
Penultimate
Poleaxed
Resplendent
Roil
Sentinel
Stalactite
Swath
Threadbare
Trill
Vestigial
Vitriolic
Warbling

I’m only halfway through reading Spellbinding Sentences, so  don’t let my less than spellbinding sentences deter you from checking out the book:

Speaking of collections, I have great writing craft boards on Pinterest filled with oodles of articles and useful charts. Follow me here.

 

5 thoughts on “Hey authors: Are you a word hoarder? You should be.

  1. I do not like jocular because it makes me think too much of Twilight when Meyers was simply trying too hard. I adore “dichotomy,” “guileless,” “lurid,” “interloper.” Those are good words that can be used more naturally in my writing.

    Thanks for the book rec!

    Liked by 1 person

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