Ways to improve and grow your vocabulary to become a better writer.

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If you can grow your vocabulary, you’ll find your writing is improved. With more creative and interesting words at your disposal, your book will become more entertaining.

Viewer Gareth Shelley asked a question about how important a big vocabulary. When you want to write a book, can overcome the problem of a small vocabulary to become a better writer?

Specialised Vocabulary

First of all you have to work out who your audience is. If you are writing for children you vocabulary wouldn’t need to be as big. A children’s books use more simple language and smaller words in order to be accessible to the children they’re targeted at.

Secondly, it’s possible to have a big vocabulary in a specialised subject. I mostly write urban fantasy so I have an extensive vocabulary when it comes to that subject. I can write easily about witches, vampires, magic, demons etc. But I cannot write about Ancient Russia without some research. Your vocabulary can be specialised around one subject and that can be the subject you choose to write about.

Research New Words To Grow Your Vocabulary

If you want to grow you vocabulary in a simple way Google is your friend. Google synonyms for certain words or phrases that you’re prone to using and find alternatives.

Word research allows you to grow your vocabulary on the job. You’ll be learning new words, and more interesting words, that you can then have at your disposal in future.

Don’t Let Your Insecurity Stop You

If you focus on a perceived weakness, such as a smaller than ideal vocabulary, it can stifle the creative process. I would highly recommend writing your book as best you can, with what words and ideas you have. Then make full use of the editing process.

When you edit , you can go over your manuscript with a thesaurus or dictionary, and improve your work. If you have lots of characters do a certain thing or say a certain thing, you’ll notice it during your editing process. I regularly have my characters nod. Always nodding. I have to go back and edit that out and find new ways to show their agreement. You can then find news ways of describing it to keep your writing fresh and interesting.

Read All The Time To Grow Your Vocabulary

An important thing to remember is that the more you read, the better your writing will become. When you read the work of other writers, you’ll build up your vocabulary. You can learn new ways of describing things and interesting ways to use our language.

If you’re reading on a Kindle, it comes with a function that allows you to look up the meaning of words you’re unfamiliar with directly. If you’re reading a paperback, don’t be afraid to look up words you don’t recognise. Read as much as you can and it’ll have a positive impact on your own ability to tell stories.

But ultimately, you’ll have to work through this fear. Don’t be too afraid to write. Use the language at your disposal and then the more you write, the more you read, and the more you develop your skills at editing the better your writing will become.

You can find more writing advice on our YouTube channel where we’ll help you become a better and more confident writer. If you have any writing questions, comment below and we will try to do a video for every question we get. If you’ve found my work helpful, please consider dropping me a tip in my Paypal tip jar to help me keeping bringing you free writing advice!

Grow Your Vocabulary, JJ Barnes Writing Advice
Click to buy books by JJ Barnes

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I'm author, writer, screenwriter and filmmaker. I've always been passionate about stories, both on the page and on the screen, and now I'm lucky enough that I've been able to turn that passion into a career.

Myfirst novel, Lilly Prospero And The Magic Rabbit was the first release from Siren stories and launched the Siren Stories Universe (the SSU). Now there are multiple stories, on page and screen, all connected and exploring the world I first began to develop all those years ago. Find all my books here.

Hollowhood, the first independent film from myself and my writing partner, Jonathan McKinney, is currently in post-production. Making my own film has been an incredible experience and only affirmed my love of all things to do with film. From the camera to the costumes, I will always love everything about being on set.

As well as releasing my own stories, I'm hoping to spread love and passion for the art of story telling to others, by guiding you through different aspect of writing. I do a series of Writing Advice videos for adults, and a Creative Writing For Kids series, both on YouTube. I'm also releasing regular Writing Advice blog posts explaining different writing techniques and advice for how to get the most out of your writing experience.

Other than writing, my life is mostly spent with my partner, Jonathan McKinney, our three children, Rose, Ezekiel and Buffy, and our extremely foolish Springer Spaniel, Molly.

I love reading books, watching TV, and falling asleep during movies. When Jon comes to bed he usually finds me face down with my face on a book, or hiding under the duvet waiting for him to protect me because I've got myself in a dither reading a ghost story.

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