Weekly Journal

Creative Writing: 5 boring Words (and what to use instead)

10th August 2017

A crucial aspect of any creative writing piece, whether for novels, copywriting or articles, is a diverse vocabulary. It’s elementary, my dear Watson – keep the people interested. It’s a no-brainer really, that stuffy, repetitive writing won’t ignite passion for your chosen subject.

So, how do you do just that? How do you keep people interested? How do you stop your writing from being flat and dull? By expanding your vocabulary, and focusing on the importance of showing, not telling. Elevate your sentences with lyrical images, rather than mundane words not strong enough to set fire to your reader’s imagination.

Take a look at some of these typical words and how we might liven them up…

A pretty sunset.

This is such a vague description! It is time to liven up your writing with more colourful words. 

1. Pretty

It was a rather pretty sight, as she was a rather pretty girl, her eyes were very pretty, she wore a pretty dress”. Yawn! It hardly incites any great affection, does it?

How about: It was a stunning sight to behold, as she was an exquisitely beautiful girl, her eyes were striking, and she wore an elegant dress.

Creative writing, employed in any context, should make your prose sing!

2. Big

It was a big building.

The animal was quite big”.

It was a big problem.

He had a big…hole in his sock.

Record scratch, stop everything! This will not do, and you know it.

Instead, why not use:

It was a towering building – looming above everything”.

The animal was gigantic”.

It was an immense problem”.

He had a gaping hole in his sock”.

“Elevate your sentences with lyrical images, rather than mundane words not strong enough to set fire to your reader’s imagination.”

3. Said

He said “bla bla bla”.

“Giggity giggity giggity,” she said.

“I’m tired, life sucks,” he said.

We’re talking about creative writing here people! There are plenty of ways to convey speech, make it interesting, make it specific.

Why not try:

He demanded, “bla bla bla”.

“Giggity giggity giggity!” she exclaimed.

“I’m tired,” he wept as he professed his momentary hatred for life.

4. Nice

“Oh, that dinner was nice because she is just so nice. I had such a nice time”.

This description is worthy of a facepalm. Oh, your date was just “nice?” Don’t expect them to return your call if you told them that after you paid the cheque and kissed goodbye!

Consider: “Oh, that dinner was absolutely delectable, I’m glad she chose that place because she is just so thoughtful. I had such a wonderful time”.

Nice view.

We all know that this view is much more than “nice”.

5. Ran

He ran over the bridge.

She ran for the train.

They ran through the forest.

She ran through the swinging door.

It’s hard not to roll your eyes at these unimaginative descriptions. Why were they running? From what or whom? How were they running?

What about:

He sprinted over the bridge.

She made a dash for the train.

They hurried through the forest.

She bolted through the swinging door.

The list could go on, but hopefully these examples will inspire you to open a thesaurus and consider choosing more imagination-sparking and poetic words because it is important to maintain your reader’s engagement. If they read the word ‘run’ over and over, they’ll get bored and close the book. The End.

Do you want to learn more tips and tricks of the trade and improve your writing skills? Look no further than The Content Castle!

Are you looking to discuss creative writing with a community of residents? You can apply here https://contentcastle.asia/apply for a chance to come and join us!

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