“I need to build up my vocabulary before I can be a good writer,” someone said to me the other day.
It made me stop and think for a moment. Actually, as I told her, I don’t think you need an elaborate or sophisticated vocabulary to write well. Sometimes the shortest, simplest words are the most effective.
That’s not to say that you can get away with a lack of thought around words. Don’t use “move” when “thrash”, “kick” “slither” , “sway” or “strut” will do better.
Words, particularly verbs, need to be strong and active.
Never be vague. Every word should be as precise as you can make it. Don’t snatch the first words that float before your mind’s eye. You don’t want your character to “grab” her keys, the door handle and her quick lunch. You don’t want to to “plonk” her bag down, her bum in a…
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