Thursday, 4 September 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Vocab Misshaps

Insecure Writer's Support Group is a blog hop hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh where totally insecure writers can get together and share the things that are making us go argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
       I've been doing a lot of sprint writing recently in order to build word count while I was doing camp NaNoWriMo and also to try and bypass that little voice in my head that wants me to edit constantly. One thing that these sprints have made glaringly obvious is that I tend to use the same words over and over despite knowing that I have many more words locked up in my brain that could get the point across much better.
       When I read books I'm always impressed by the range of the vocabulary. The thing is, I know all those alternate words that are being used. I know that they're locked up in my brain somewhere and it's as though I have vocab dyslexia where I know what it is that I want to say, I have the words, they just don't come out the way I want them to.
      Does anybody else feel this way? Are other writer's facing the same problems and just have fantastic editors who make suggestions that they never thought of? Or is it the scary thing that I'm afraid of and I'm just not that good a writer? 


  1. I have words I overuse. Don't stress on the first draft though. When you go back through, write down those words and then do a search and destroy to replace them.

    1. Absolutely! The worst thing you can do is stop to edit the first draft before it's finished. I see my students do it all the time. I suggest they just get the thing finished and let me help when they're ready. You know what's REALLY bad, though? Noticing it after submitting the thing! But you get to the point where you're sick of it and just want to send it off to the publisher.

  2. Believe me, when I read books I am constantly amazed at the authors skill and vocab. But that's what a good thesaurus is for. If I notice that I'm overusing a certain word, I look it up and find an alternative. :)

  3. Ha, I'm always using the same words again and again, and you'll see that in my writing. It's embarrassing and you'll be yelling at me for it! I'm a ticky writer.

  4. Most of the time, I just write whatever comes to mind. I'll notice some repeat phrases or words as I'm writing, but if nothing else fits in a sentence, I leave it. I jot down words to double check on later during edits. Sometimes I catch things, sometimes not. My betas almost always point them out to me. You become more aware of it the more you write. There are a couple websites that can help pinpoint words/phrases that are overused or used more than once. Those sites help immensely. I used at least one of them once and it made a difference.

  5. No. My vocabulary seems to flow quite nicely and I'm grateful for that. What I do that's irksome is use too many old sayings. I'm partial to adding in characters who are folksy and can use my favorite idioms so I have an excuse to use them. Ugh! (visiting from IWSG).

  6. Haha, this is exactly how I feel about 90 percent of the time when I write blog posts. I always read back through them and think, "Wow. Apparently I only know 10 words." (I cringe to think about how repetitive I'd be if I wrote something longer than a blog post...) So yeah, like others have said, MS Word "find" feature and a good thesaurus are miracle workers.

  7. Yes, in writing lyrics I find myself more and more frequently turning to the rhyming dictionary, as opposed to simply coming up with rhymes off the cuff (which I used to do more frequently). Is it cognitive decline or a more refined taste in rhymes? Who knows?

  8. Don't worry, Lan. Just keep writing and change the words when it feel necessary in the second draft. JUST. DON'T. STOP. Good luck! <3

  9. Absolutely, I also tend to use things like "jumping the gun" which I later realize some people may not actually get........


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