1. Alexz7272
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    Alexz7272 Member

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    Has anyone used these as a reference while writing?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Alexz7272, Jul 14, 2014.

    Hello,

    So I recently started attending a writing group in my local area to try and meet other writers, get some insight from like minds, etc. Several of the people in attendance used and recommended using a couple of books that they said helped them immensely. As I am in a relatively smaller city/town in Northern Colorado, I wanted to see if a larger audience perhaps used them or had any insight regarding their use or if perhaps the people here are obsessed with a nonsense book. Here are the books they recommended:

    The Emotional Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman
    The Negative Trait Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman
    The Positive Trait Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman

    Maybe obsessed with Angela Ackerman? Obviously we were discussing character and character development at the time. Is there any type of thesaurus or reference book many of you swear by? Appreciate all insight and look forwards to learning some new things!
     
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  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hadn't heard of her so had to look her up. She supposedly writes YA but the only published books I found were the three you noted. Checked out the emotion one and didn't really see anything in the preview I couldn't find free elsewhere (like writing forums). Did state that 99 times out of 100 you should show not tell, so have to wonder about her other advice.

    As to my own preferences, I have Roget's Thesaurus and a dictionary. Nothing fancy - and both rather dusty...
     
  3. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Never heard of her, and no I don't use those works.
     
  4. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    I just go to dictionary.com and further research from there if necessary. I do not really see a point in a thesaurus on traits and emotions, however.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I just took a look at the first book. It looks like something I can use. I put a library request in.
     
  6. Graphics solution
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    Graphics solution Member

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    I don't even know such works.
     
  7. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sure, they will help you if you are a sociopath who cannot empathize with people or understand how they communicate feelings.

    Which is why they are so helpful to me.

    The best way to use them is to free yourself from worrying about "show vs. tell" up until the final draft. Focus on what actually matters, rather than petty stylistic concerns. Write "he could not contain his excitement" and "she did not know whether to be sad or amused" all you want. When you have written to your heart's content, go back through the draft and look for instances of "telling" and use the emotion/trait thesauri to replace them with concrete images.
     

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