Ways To Improve And Grow Your Vocabulary

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Written by JJ Barnes


If you can grow your vocabulary, you’ll find your writing is improved. With more creative and interesting words at your disposal, your book will become more entertaining.

How To Grow Your Vocabulary, The Table Read Writing Advice
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Specialised Vocabulary

First of all you have to work out who your audience is. If you are writing for children you vocabulary wouldn’t need to be as big. A children’s books use more simple language and smaller words in order to be accessible to the children they’re targeted at.

Secondly, it’s possible to have a big vocabulary in a specialised subject. I mostly write urban fantasy so I have an extensive vocabulary when it comes to that subject. I can write easily about witches, vampires, magic, demons etc. But I cannot write about Ancient Russia without some research. Your vocabulary can be specialised around one subject and that can be the subject you choose to write about.

Research New Words To Grow Your Vocabulary

If you want to grow you vocabulary in a simple way Google is your friend. Google synonyms for certain words or phrases that you’re prone to using and find alternatives.

Word research allows you to grow your vocabulary on the job. You’ll be learning new words, and more interesting words, that you can then have at your disposal in future.

How To Grow Your Vocabulary, The Table Read Writing Advice
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Don’t Let Your Insecurity Stop You

If you focus on a perceived weakness, such as a smaller than ideal vocabulary, it can stifle the creative process. I would highly recommend writing your book as best you can, with what words and ideas you have. Then make full use of the editing process.

When you edit , you can go over your manuscript with a thesaurus or dictionary, and improve your work. If you have lots of characters do a certain thing or say a certain thing, you’ll notice it during your editing process. I regularly have my characters nod. Always nodding. I have to go back and edit that out and find new ways to show their agreement. You can then find news ways of describing it to keep your writing fresh and interesting.

How To Grow Your Vocabulary, The Table Read Writing Advice
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Read All The Time To Grow Your Vocabulary

An important thing to remember is that the more you read, the better your writing will become. When you read the work of other writers, you’ll build up your vocabulary. You can learn new ways of describing things and interesting ways to use our language.

If you’re reading on a Kindle, it comes with a function that allows you to look up the meaning of words you’re unfamiliar with directly. If you’re reading a paperback, don’t be afraid to look up words you don’t recognise. Read as much as you can and it’ll have a positive impact on your own ability to tell stories.

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But ultimately, you’ll have to work through this fear. Don’t be too afraid to write. Use the language at your disposal and then the more you write, the more you read, and the more you develop your skills at editing the better your writing will become.

More From JJ Barnes:

I am an author, filmmaker, artist and youtuber, and I am the creator and editor of The Table Read.

You can find links to all my work and social media on my website: www.jjbarnes.co.uk

Buy my books: www.sirenstories.co.uk/books

Follow me on Twitter: @JudieannRose

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