top of page
  • Writer's pictureMegan DiMaria

Don't waste pretty words. File them away!

Writers, do you keep a pretty-word file?

Sometimes a description hits the spot exactly. When that happens in a novel I’m reading, I often go back, re-read, and savor the pretty words.

I play word games by myself all day long. If I see/hear/smell/taste/touch something, I often try to come up with the best words to describe whatever it was I heard/smelled/tasted/touched. (Truly, there is silly, crazy, word-loving madness in my brain.)

Here are some tidbits that may find their way into my fiction:

  • It's so windy in Denver today. Grit is flying through the air, and tumbleweeds are bouncing across the street like giant, soiled cotton balls.

  • Pondering one of life's mysteries—like why we meticulously iron anything made of linen.

  • The world is turning a soft shade of gold here in Colorado. Today as I drove down my street, burnished leaves floated around my car and danced across the road.

  • Windy, windy, windy! Pounding the house and whistling down the chimney. Feels like an uninvited guest just showed up.

  • Just peeked outside to see winter's cold glare glancing my way. It looks like snow's about to fall.

  • I love the way the autumn light slips through the leaves of my maple tree and dances across my wall.

  • The garbage man just went down our street tossing trashcans on their sides here and there like a grumpy toddler pitching a tantrum.

  • A delicate dusting of snow lay on what appeared to be a Victorian city. The sparkling white powder looked like confectioner's sugar passed through a sieve and sprinkled over the world.

I keep a file of pretty words and occasionally look through them and select one for a scene. Right now I'm thinking how my character will be ironing one day and wonder why she's so meticulous about ironing linen . . .

bottom of page