Rescue Writing

Read the Dictionary



Lots of words.

The dictionary is the best friend of a writer. Go ahead, read it, fall it love with words…see what adventures escape from the pages. Especially the verbs.

Verbs are where the action lives. The stronger the verb, the stronger the action and the more interested your reader will be in your story.

All action happens to a noun. The noun is a subject – but it doesn’t have to be a living thing, it can be an idea or thing to which you have given life.

Often, by reading the dictionary, you will find new nouns – which means new subjects of stories. You will also find new verbs, which means new things can happen to your subject, or main character.

Ammon Shea wrote a book about reading the Oxford English Dictionary. “All of the human emotions and experiences are right there in this dictionary, just as they would be in any fine work of literature. They just happen to be alphabetize,” he said.

He got the idea of writing a book about reading the dictionary, from reading the dictionary. What a great idea!

What ideas will you have after you read the dictionary?

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