Thursday Writing Prompt No. 7

Natural sandstone arch in Utah

One of the many sandstone formations in Arches National Park, Utah.

This week’s Thursday Writing Prompt is about building your vocabulary. Words are essential to writers. That’s obvious, you say? Well, yes, it is. But some writers don’t spend much time bothering to learn new words or with using those big words they already know because they’re afraid that their readers will be put off by unfamiliar terms and those big, sciency-sounding words.

But don’t let the fear that displaying a super vocabulary will drive away readers from allowing you to use some lesser-known words. You’ll need to strike a balancing act between using and overusing them, of course — but do use them! There are so many great words out there that don’t get enough page time.

I’m going to introduce you to some fetching bon mots that you can include in your own work. Since I have no idea what your vocabulary is like, or where your reading level is at, I can only hope you won’t know some of these words and that you’ll go away with something useful from this post.

In order to get the most out of this week’s writing prompt, you need to use these words in your own work so that you can get comfortable with their contours and understand where to use them and — just as importantly — where not to use them. You will write at least one sentence for each of these words. If that’s easy for you, then increase the difficulty and write sentences that include two or more of the words per sentence. For the ultimate exercise, write an entire paragraph that uses all of the words.

I’m not going to provide you with the definitions for the vocabulary words. Looking them up is part of this week’s exercise, too, and it really will help you to learn the words. Think of it as mental calisthenics for writers. Now, here’s the list:

firmament                   maelstrom
tirade                      trajectory
mundane                     shrivel
lithe                       eschew
presage                     insipid
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3 thoughts on “Thursday Writing Prompt No. 7

  1. 🙂 Have you tried any of the words yet? I think the sound of some of these words is a good clue to what they mean. Insipid just sounds lazy.

    • I haven’t had a chance to do much writing right now. I’m in the middle of a move across the pond to London. I underestimated how much time that would take…But I always love learning new words.

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