I am a novelist and a poet. Sometimes, I am a short storyist too, but that is only on occasion. Each time I sit down to write, in the back of my mind are the words I am known to use way too often. Just like how I used to use the word ‘sparkle’ in poetry whenever an object of shine was described. Embarrassingly enough, my older poetry was few and far between that did not have that word somewhere in the text. This word, amongst others, I am careful to use sparingly or not at all. This is where the opportunities to improve rest.
In the front of my mind, however, are the words I want to integrate into my writing and broaden my writerly vocabulary, whether because they are generally rare or haven’t been in other stories of mine.
A new year, especially one of double even numbers, is bound to bring new writing. A new year is the perfect time to start fresh, push your personal voice, and expand your dictionary. Be the writer that keeps readers surprised of how you will depict the next scene and the emotion you will pull from them unexpectedly. Excite their mind and dazzle their eyes with ease in each of your written pieces.
This suggested word list was composed carefully. The thought process to select these words was based off of considering the physical world, along with the literary space. When we think about the various spaces that fills the entire world, sometimes the words we need most are right in front of us, hidden, yet there.
Turbulent / adj.
Your character, Ina, perhaps, boards an airplane. She arranges her luggage in the overhead compartment before belting herself in the window seat. Some turbulence tosses the plane, the pilot working hard to regain full control. As a writer, it is your job to create suspense high in the sky and bring readers along for the bumpy flight.
The word ‘turbulent’ would surely accompany this scene. The word’s interchangeable capabilities makes it a strong adjective to integrate into a range of narratives and character conflict, including ones that take place on the ground. Turbulence is the powerful or unsteady sensation. It is a pull or push, a physical disturbance that causes movement, often unwarranted.
The number of published stories, in print and digital form, that discusses the downfalls of a person, often in conjunction with mental illness, quietly encourages this word. Mental illness can cause someone to feel as if their life is in turbulence and their airplane will never steer from the stream.
Each narrative that details the accounts of mental illness has, debatably, two prime audiences. First, the reader that has never encountered such feelings before, or minimally, and is hoping to understand the feelings of the character better without having a realistic event to base it off of. On the other hand, the second audience is knowledgable about mental illness and how it feels day to day. They have experienced such ordeals and are approaching the text with a comprehensive understanding. Their connection to the book is already constructed, but the story must still follow through with satisfaction.
A possible change in time generationally, people enjoy hearing the stories and records from others. Write of a tough challenge and toss your character in the midst of it. Apply the word ‘turbulent’ to describe the difficulty and emphasize the lack of control. Play with how the word can boost a variety of scenes.
Garnet / noun.
I consider myself to be a colorful writer in that I enjoy splashing vibrant images and scenes across pages for my readers to enjoy and visualize themselves. I am a color obsessor and find it fun to add such lexicon to my stories. Color is a strong descriptor.
There are primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. I believe that there are also primary, secondary, and tertiary ways to describe color within writing. For example, the primary way to describe one hue is to label it by its exact name. The primary of red is, well, red. The secondary way would be maroon, burgundy, scarlet, or crimson. The tertiary way could be garnet, merlot, carmine, or something less mentioned.
In the instance of writing of color, being a tertiary writer can surprise your readers. Using a range of unique labels assists in emphasizing the scene and the subject you are aiming to bring to the surface.
Muse / noun.
Writers, painters, musicians, and other creatives alike often have a muse, or several, that they can rely on to become instantly inspired when their creativity lulls.
While debatable, it is frequently suggested that it is best for writers to write what they know well. It is believed that for writers to tell, develop, and detail a story immaculately, they must know about the theme and plot, as if they encountered the series of events themself.
Our muse should be important to us and hold a special place within our hearts. Offer your protagonist the same muse, inserting a portion of yourself and your creative process into the narrative. If your muse is a person, put them into the story. If your muse is an stronger-force or some other non-human subject, give them a place in your story in which they will be best represented.
The word muse is a pretty word and has a musical ring to it. The beautiful connotations can be played with, depicting the muse as something glorious and graceful. However, a writerly twist can be made, depicting the muse as something secretly evil or sinister. Maybe the main character knows of the ulterior motives, but they refuse to believe this. Possibly, they are utterly unaware of such secrets.
Tintinnabulation / noun.
A new word to my vocabulary and I am extraordinarily obsessed. Pleasing to pronounce and write, there has to be a story in the world that this word can fit into perfectly.
Tintinnabulation is the sound of bells ringing or chiming. It’s a sensory word that hints at an action. The word is rhythmic and can flatter sentence structure.
Word choice is about elevating the scene, but also complementing the pacing of sentences. Using this word with a noticeable beat, can do just that.
In addition, a lesser common word like ‘tintinnabulation’ it can surprise and shock your readers in a good way. They will thank you for allowing them to read something brand new.
This word can also fit well into a poem.