My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge this year is a mishmash of books, movies, writers and TV shows that have in one way or another taught me something about writing and helped me be a better writer. Some inspired my own stories and a few taught me what not to do. Each post is a one minute lesson on writing. Don't forget to visit the IWSG where the co-host are sharing inspiration for all of April. And today, I'm sharing some ideas to help you get through the A to Z without injury.
No author wants their writing to sound like the thesaurus sat open on their desk the entire time. Yet the more you write, the more likely you are to recognize when you're over-using certain words. How many times can you call a character 'timid.' Thanks to my Flip Dictionary by Barbara Ann Kipfer, Ph.D, I could call describe that character as bashful, hesitant, meek, mousy or one of a dozen other choices that come from my Flip Dictionary. Sometimes I use it when I can't quite think of the word I want. I look up a synonym of the word I want and viola, the Flip Dictionary reveals the word that was hiding on the tip of my tongue. I've used my copy of this reference book so many times that the pages are falling out. My children borrowed it when writing papers for school. I do have a thesaurus. It's look brand new as if never opened.
Lesson: Don't sound like a thesaurus in your writing as if you're trying to impress someone with your vocabulary. But also take care not overuse words. Common words are better than an esoteric, recherche or abstruse word. (See what I did there?)
Our family will celebrate Easter tomorrow just by getting together and sharing a meal. There will be an empty spot because my daughter won't make it home from college. Hopefully the weather will permit some outdoor time. I'll probably spend some time during the day visiting a few more blogs even though it's a day off for A to Z. Don't feel obliged. A day off can recharge you but you can also use it to catch up if you want.
"Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right or better." John Updike
Do you ever use a thesaurus? Have you heard of the Flip Dictionary? Are you taking tomorrow off from blogging? Did the first week of A to Z go as you thought it would?