In other words, praise.
Pat Davids here.
This blog is in praise of Roget’s Thesaurus. Roget’s is my third most favorite writing resource. Number one is my imagination. Number two is my computer.
My Roget’s is dog-eared, tattered, ripped, rent, and damaged. I love it. I simply adore finding the perfect word that makes a sentence sing.
For the most part, my writing style is simple. I have no illusions about what I write. It’s entertainment, easy, uncomplicated, pleasing as stroll down a shady lane, but sometimes I just need a better word. Maybe I used handsome three times on one page. I try to avoid those echo words that writer’s notice, but ordinary readers gloss right over. Shift+F7 gives me the thesaurus in Microsoft Word. I use it frequently, but there is something more satisfying about grabbing the book with the broken spine and falling out, ragged pages. Leafing though all those wonderful words often gives me new ideas. Sometimes they take my story or my characters in a whole new direction. Handsome = attractive, good-looking, elegant, stately, majestic, gorgeous.
Elegant is the word that fits best tonight.
The elegant Dr. Peter Mark Roget created his thesaurus in 1805 but it was not released to the public until 1856. Imagine what it must be like to create a book every writer looks to. He's been called the man who became a book. I like that. His is the book that helped me become a writer.
Besides Roget, I can name four other books that seriously influenced me in my career.
The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodwiss (my first romance)
Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer. (the best character study of a hero ever)
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby (proof that a writer can write no matter what)
What books have been an inspiration in your career or life?