In the process of revising a manuscript AGAIN, I’ve been digging in to some familiar and newly-found websites to ignite my creative flame. (And, darn it, yes, I am able to make the manuscript better, even though I swore the *#@$ thing was finished.) I thought others might find some of these resources useful.
One of my revision goals has been to use more powerful and descriptive words, especially since this story uses a lot of onomatopoeia—sound words. If words like sizzle, snarl, twang, whallop, belch, boosh, flump get you thinking and describing more vividly, then check some of these sites out.
At Written Sound.com, words are organized by topic: sounds of humans, animals, explosions, music, weather and more. Kathy Temean’s blog, Writing and Illustrating has a child-focused list of onomatopoeia words. Children’s author Rachelle Burk also maintains a list of almost 300 sound-evoking words.
If you are writing YA, you have to check out UrbanDictionary if you haven’t already. User-contributed definitions are current, colorful and... occasionally grown-up and graphic. (I'm just sayin', this site has over 200 ways to describe a fart.)
Since my current project uses rhyme I’ve enjoyed the Rhyme Zone. Extensive lists of rhymes, organized by syllable, include slang, common phrases and 'rare' words.
For a quick, easily understandable lesson on the mechanics of poetry (using rhyme and meter to create a picture book, children’s story, or any poetry) Rhyme Weaver by Lane Fredrickson is a great resource.
Given the many surf-worthy sites, the most basic and necessary weapon in my writer’s arsenal remains my favorite thesaurus: Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus in Dictionary Form. This book lives under my monitor, offering inspiringly comprehensive word associations. Online thesauruses abound (including Thesaurus.com and Rogets.com) but sometimes, I find the print edition more practical. And it helps prevent over-surfing.
Nothing substitutes for your brain and hard work. So with all these tools, the character still has to be active and relatable, the plot has to challenge that character, and the voice has to win over readers. So...I'm headed back to my revisions!
Any resources you love and want to share?