Yes, I’m that picky kind of writer. It’s hard for me to spew stuff willy-nilly, though I’m trying to learn that talent. I stand in awe of people who churn out 5,000 words a day and then go back to consolidate and shape their raw words into a cohesive story.
You DO go back and shape those words, don’t you?
When I find the perfect words, with the appropriate nuance, with layers of meaning…well, it gives me a little tickle. I like a lot of flavor packed into each sentence.
So beyond the dictionary and the thesaurus, there’s this tool:
“OneLook’s reverse dictionary lets you describe a concept and get back a list of words and phrases related to that concept. Your description can be a few words, a sentence, a question, or even just a single word. Just type it into the box above and hit the “Find words” button. Keep it short to get the best results. In most cases you’ll get back a list of related terms with the best matches shown first.”
Let’s try “sad face”:
I get 100 words, including:
sorrow, gloom, doleful, long face, plaint, mournful, pensive, dejected, wan, sombre, weight, lined, heavy, suppress, tragedy, lugubrious, cloud, woebegone, mourning, buckle, vein, and mow, and many others…
Turns out a definition of mow is:
verb: make a sad face and thrust out one’s lower lip (“Mop and mow”) (MACMILLAN DICTIONARY ONLINE)
Dang. Words. Just when you think you know them.
Slippery little devils.