You Need a "Sentence Thesaurus" (And how to make one)
As a writer, I've discovered that the thesaurus is one of the most useful tools in my arsenal. This seemingly simple book contains a wealth of words that can help to breathe new life into any piece of writing. A Thesaurus can be of great help when you're stuck for ideas, looking for the perfect word to express an idea or emotion, or trying to avoid using the same word too many times throughout your writing.
Even though a word thesaurus is awesome, I’ve often wished I could have a sentence thesaurus.
As a series writer, I frequently struggle with how to keep my writing fresh and new when describing actions that occur repeatedly. Let's face it: a protagonist can only glare, stare, and so on just so many times before it becomes tedious. Furthermore, talking animals are frequently central to my stories. How many times can my owl flap his wings in annoyance before the reader rolls her eyes?
A sentence thesaurus would provide an invaluable resource for me to make my writing more expressive and engaging.
Luckily, I've now got one.
One of the things I get stuck on, as I mentioned, is my anthropomorphic animal characters and their movements. I can ask Sudowrite to give me a list of sentences describing a particular reaction or state, giving a little bit of context.
I use the Something Else option under Brainstorm for this.
And I'll get a list of sentences.
I click the thumbs up for the ones I like, thumbs down for any I don't. Sentences I like will be moved into Keepers.
Once I have the sentences I like, I click Save & Exit and they'll be dropped onto a card for me.
Bonus: You can use these single sentences as foundations to build more descriptive sentences using Describe.
The two-step process has the advantage of narrowing down exactly the tone, movement, or action you want to expand on without having to hit Describe over and over again as you search for the perfect sentence.
It also allows you to begin building your own action or emotion phrase/sentence thesaurus specific to your characters and writing.