What if you could tap into the expanded vocabulary of authors you admire, with the end goal of using those words in your own writing? It’s easier than you think. Just start a Word Hoard.
I can’t take credit for the idea. That goes to Barbara Baig, author of Spellbinding Sentences. Well, historically, the concept traces way way back, but Baig has repurposed the term for writers and outlined a process for taking ownership of the interesting words we encounter in day to day life.
The first step is collection. From reading, eavesdropping, and reflection, pull words that interest you from all sources of spoken and written language. And not just the words for which you are unclear on the meaning; also note the ones you understand but have never used before. Step two: record them in a centralized place. Next, learn and relearn their many meanings. Lastly my little spelling-bee champs, “Can you use it in a sentence?” If you follow these steps, congratulations! You now own the vocab in your very own word hoard. Pretty soon, your newly acquired words will begin popping up in your own writing.
To give you an idea of what this might look like, this list is from my own word hoard. Click below for definitions, and if you’re brave, brainstorm some sentences.
Find out more about Spellbinding Sentences here: