Word choice is an essential part of writing. Whether it’s part of dialogue or description. Whether it’s a poem, a novel, a short story, or a blog post. Word choice is important.
And if you are anything like me, you find yourself stuck using the same words. Maybe you have a hard time avoiding cliché words and phrases. Maybe it’s not cliché to others, but after using the same word 6 times in your own writing, it becomes a personal cliché. We all have those right? Hopefully it’s not just me. ?
We find words we like and become attached to them. They are familiar, and we are comfortable with their use. So how do we get beyond the words we always use and find words that are potentially better and more precise for what we are trying to say? How do we find the perfect word for the message we are trying to convey?
I have an awesome resource that I like to use, and I’m sharing it with you!
You can download and print your free category chart.
Printable: Simple Category Chart to Improve Your Word Choice
Okay, I know this chart is really simple. My design capability is probably like that of a second grader. But that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. Simple is good. I really like using this chart when I feel like my word choice is redundant. Or when I feel like there might be a better word. It’s like a thesaurus for the words you use the most.
I find having one for emotion to be the most useful. Isn’t it true that the best writing evokes emotion? The stories that I remember are the ones that made me feel something, made me think differently, or changed the way I see things.
In the center, I wrote the word emotion. In the next four semi-circles I wrote sad, nervous, mad, and glad. But you could write any 4 emotions. In the subsequent sections of the chart, I wrote synonyms for each emotion.
It’s also a good resource for thinking outside the box and being more creative. I have the hardest time deciding what my character should drive, so I created one for cars. You could even create one for colors, fashion, the potentials are endless!
What will you use your category chart for?
What resources and tools do you use to help your word choice?