Monday, January 9, 2017

Writing Prompts & Hints

by Peggy Blann Phifer @pegphifer

As I sat at my computer yesterday afternoon, staring at the last lines of my current WIP (work in progress) trying to figure out where I wanted to go next, I happened to glance to the left of my desk where I have some of my oft-used writing 'how-to' books and spotted the book (pictured below).
Note: As far as I can tell, this book is out of print, but it seems to be available through other sellers, if you want to check it out.

Writer's Digest Books ©2002, ISBN: 1-58297-142-0
I thumbed through the first few pages, looking for inspiration. While the pages are not numbered, about 20 pages in, I found one I'd highlighted and it caught my attention again. On that page, the author, Monica Wood, wrote about a smallish spiral notebook with lined pages she called her 'word notebook.' In that little notebook she kept lists of words. Not phrases, not quotations, just . . . words.

She wrote that that notebook accompanied her while reading, and whenever she stumbled upon a word she liked, she'd write/add it to the notebook. She also keeps that notebook beside her while writing. "I use it on days when words come hard," she wrote. "Some days I check that notebook for a zesty word that can replace a dull one."

I remembered being intrigued by that idea and acting on it, so I went in search of the notebook I'd started at that time. I found it, though it is a bit battered, it's pages stained about two-thirds of the way up from a day when one of my cats had jumped up on my desk and knocked over a full cup of hot coffee. 


But the word list I'd started was still readable, and I want to share some of them with you.

  • engender
  • ingraining
  • fractious
  • egress
  • denouement
  • thwart
  • declarative
  • puny
  • imbue
  • penurious
  • saturnine
There are quite a few more on my list, but I think that's enough for starters. Aren't they great?

So, having re-discovered this neat idea, I will now have a new, blank notebook with me as I read, and keep that list of new words I've found beside me as I write.

Now here's a challenge: We're only nine days into a brand new year. What if you were to adopt this idea for yourselves and start your own list of words?

Are you with me?

Would love to have you join the conversation in the comment section!


Use words to spark your writing creativity @pegphifer #writing #ideas - (Click to Tweet)

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