Turning the Descriptive Phrase – or – “The Colour Thesaurus”


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I know many writers and authors, myself included, love to turn the descriptive phrase when setting the scene around specific people, places and things. I think the grandest skill to be had is to make these subjects to come alive for the reader, not only visually, as an “objective observer”, but as a participant. Enter: the thesaurus.

Having suffered several mini-strokes upon the death of my parents years ago, it saddened and frustrated me as a writer, to find that I had “lost my words”, as it were. I was used to my brain being my own personal thesaurus…how disheartening to find that, that book would close itself against me, every time I needed it most: while writing.

When I began the process of preparing to publish for the first time, it seemed as though Fate itself took a hand in helping me to reach that goal.

I “discovered” a plethora of websites and blogs for all these wonderful, helpful, writer’s resources, and soon my Facebook page was filled with lists for alternate expressions and words; my cell phone gallery now has more screenshots of subject-specific thesaurus-es (thesaurii??!) than photos!

Today, I saw the following guest post/re-post, originally written by Ingrid Sundberg, on Karen Gray’s blog, “Thistley Roses”. Ms. Sunderberg takes the ‘descriptive phrase’ one step further, through her creation of the “Colour Thesaurus”.

If you are a writer, struggling to turn a descriptive phrase…or even if you’re not…I urge you to take a peek at this shared post, “The Amazing Colour Thesaurus”, and both of their blogs.

Many thanks to Karen and Ingrid for sharing this with the blogging world!

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5 thoughts on “Turning the Descriptive Phrase – or – “The Colour Thesaurus”

  1. Hear, hear! I’m sorry to hear about your loss of words sometimes, but hurray for the interwebz when trying to think of synonyms and the like. Ever since I’m on a high dose of crappy meds, I have the memory of a goldfish and aphasia is pretty much ruining 80% of my conversations. Which is why I’m so happy that when it comes to writing, you can at least look things up first. Yes, it disrupts the flow and spontaneity, but at least it doesn’t turn into a huge embarrassment as can happen in a verbal situation :). Loved the colour Thesaurus as well btw 😉

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    • Yes, I’ve suffered through the conversational ‘bumps’ as well, so I have complete empathy with you (even had my bout of meds adding to the problem 😦 ). My kids, bless ’em, understand; it tends more to upset them than aggravate them, when I have to stop and think. But then there are those other people who, not knowing my 62 year history of verbosity, will become impatient, sometimes to the point of ridiculing me, for my hesitation and struggle. Sadly, some of those people are also related to me, in one way or another, though not closely.

      I spend a lot of time in front of my computer, or with a pen and paper in hand. Sometimes I can complete 8k-10k words in a day. Other days, the muse is there, but the ideas get lost in translation, between thought and action, and all that I am able to accomplish is proofreading for punctuation and spelling. And those are the days that I opt for thinking, as you so succinctly put, “thank goodness for the interwebz!” and break out the saved lists!

      When I read over what I’ve written afterward, I am grateful for people who share these things…they kickstart the old firing of synapsis, and I’m ‘saved’ for another day!

      Thanks for the input, and the chance to express myself. I’ve been quite blessed with the ‘friends’ I’ve acquired via this blog, and following others, who keep my brain working!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’ve suffered through the conversational ‘bumps’ as well, so I have complete empathy with you (even had my bout of meds adding to the problem 😦 ). My kids, bless ’em, understand; it tends more to upset them than aggravate them, when I have to stop and think. But then there are those other people who, not knowing my 62 year history of verbosity, will become impatient, sometimes to the point of ridiculing me, for my hesitation and struggle. Sadly, some of those people are also related to me, in one way or another, though not closely.

      I spend a lot of time in front of my computer, or with a pen and paper in hand. Sometimes I can complete 8k-10k words in a day. Other days, the muse is there, but the ideas get lost in translation, between thought and action, and all that I am able to accomplish is proofreading for punctuation and spelling. And those are the days that I opt for thinking, as you so succinctly put, “thank goodness for the interwebz!” and break out the saved lists!

      When I read over what I’ve written afterward, I am grateful for people who share these things…they kickstart the old firing of synapsis, and I’m ‘saved’ for another day!

      Thanks for the input, and the chance to express myself. I’ve been quite blessed with the ‘friends’ I’ve acquired via this blog, and following others, who keep my brain working!

      (btw…my day usually starts around 8-9 a.m. and ends around 4a.m., so 8k or so is doable, under the best circumstances!)

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      • Ah, yes those kind of people. The number of times people stopped putting in any effort to communicate with me because they thought I was retarded *shakes head*. Phone conversations are the worst. God bless your children for understanding, indeed. My husband and my parents understand and as for the people who don’t…screw them. We’ll meet each other again in 40-50 years or so. Let’s see who’s senile then! 😉 The 40-50 years might not be relevant to you (or not to me either, lord knows) but the screw them part sure is!

        I think 8-10k a day is a hell of an achievement! As for the off days, I don’t think our brains are developed for always working 100% anyways (they officially don’t even work 100%, so there’s yer scientific argument! 😉 ) .

        Geez woman, that’s 4-5 hours of sleep every night! Have you always slept this little or is it the getting older part that influences it mostly?

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      • Yep, and I tell them once they hit 62, with 10+2 kids, 50 grands and around 7 or 8 great-grands, THEN they’ll have the right to talk junk…not that it does any good to respond!!

        I think the insomnia is a combo of issues: getting old, worry, bottled up stress and not being in the best of health. Most of the stress will be alliviated by August when all my retirement funds kick in, though…then all I’ll have to deal with will be those old-age “brain farts”, as hubby calls them!!😄😄😄

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