Inside One Stop For Writers: Our Descriptive Thesaurus Collections

A Closer Looks at Our Descriptive Thesaurus Collections

As some of you know, the heart of One Stop For Writers is our signature Descriptive Thesaurus Collection. Visitors to this blog (and The Bookshelf Muse before it) have watched Becca and I create highly-sensory, real-life description lists for many different areas (Character Emotions, Settings, Symbolism and Weather, just to name a few.) Delving deep to understand these aspects of description allows us to write rich, compelling stories. So, when writers asked us to, we started turning a few into books.

Now we’re writers, and we love books! But the list format we use isn’t always an easy read in digital format, and often requires a lot of scrolling to see an entire entry. We knew there had to be a better way.

Lucky for us Lee Powell, the creator of Scrivener for Windows, is a genius. He could see how the right medium would turn our thesaurus collections into a top notch resource for writers that would be super easy to use.

setting thesaurus(click to enlarge)

At One Stop, each thesaurus is neatly organized and entries are easy to view. A Helpful Tip guides writers into thinking about how an area of description can be woven into the story to do more, and show more. There’s a tutorial for each thesaurus as well, helping writers understand the power of specific detail and how it can be used in the story for maximum effect.

Police Car Entry

(click to enlarge–a partial screenshot)

Setting is a big area of description. So much more than a backdrop for a scene, it is loaded with opportunities to convey mood, foreshadow, and act as a tuning fork for symbolism and theme. And that’s just to start! Using sensory details when describing your character in a specific location is important for pulling readers into the story.

You might be wondering how authentic the description is for each of our Setting entries. Well, whenever possible, Becca and I would visit the location ourselves so we could observe the sights, smells, sounds, textures and tastes first hand. The entire Setting Collection has around 250 entries. That’s a lot of research.

arrestedIt wasn’t easy to visit some locations, but we were determined. As you can see in this photo…well, sometimes we had to go to great lengths to get exact detail.

(In case you were wondering, it is rather terrifying being arrested, even when it involves being set up by relatives with connections so you can get the “full experience” of being handcuffed and put into the back of police car!)

So, let’s just say the details in this particular entry are very accurate. If you like, swing by One Stop and check it out for yourself, or visit one of the other 12 description thesauruses we have waiting for you. 🙂

Before you go…

Becca is over at Kristen Lamb’s (she is a national treasure–I hope you are all following this blog!) discussing Making Story MAGIC—How To Bring the Elements All Together. Feel free to check it out!

And I am over at Romance University discussing How Characters Often Resist Attraction in Romance, and How To Show Their Body Language Struggle (plus I’m sharing some great body language cheat sheets for HIM and HER!)

Happy writing,

Angela

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About ANGELA ACKERMAN

Angela is an international speaker and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also enjoys dreaming up new tools and resources for One Stop For Writers, a library built to help writers elevate their storytelling.

This entry was posted in Description, Emotion Thesaurus Guide, Mood and Atmosphere, One Stop For Writers, Positive & Negative Thesaurus Guides, Setting, Show Don't Tell, Subtext, Uncategorized, Writing Resources. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Inside One Stop For Writers: Our Descriptive Thesaurus Collections

  1. Shelly Pollock says:

    Hello –

    I thought I subscribed to your newsletter this morning and when I went into your website to get help with a writing issue I was unable to get what I needed….do I have to pay for a subscription and not just have signed up for your newsletter? Thank you ….great tools!! Shelly

  2. I’ve posted a link to The Emotion Thesaurus on Amazon in my blog, NovelWords.Cafe http://novelwords.cafe/

    The Thesaurus books are terrific resources.

  3. JC Martell says:

    Crazy for One Stop. I spent a good day simply browsing and found myself coming up with ideas for whole scenes – scary! The thesaurus tutorials are a great addition.
    Judi

    • This is so good to hear, JC! One of the things we most wanted to accomplish with One Stop was new ideas and increased brainstorming. Sounds like this is happening for you 🙂

  4. Diana Lynn says:

    Love the OneStop lots of great info. And thanks for offering a special coupon too. I am a subscriber!

    One question… Why isn’t’ the Emotional Wounds Thesaurus part of OnStop?

    • Diana Lynn says:

      oops, I didn’t edit my note. Sorry for the errors.

    • Hi, Diana. I’m so glad you decided to jump into One Stop For Writers. I hope you find it super helpful! The reason the Wounds Thesaurus isn’t part of One Stop is because we’re still working on it at Writers Helping Writers. We just started it back in May and there are so many wounds we have yet to cover. Eventually, we will wind that one down here and may end up adding it to the One Stop library in a future update. So stay tuned!

  5. Mart Ramirez says:

    YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!! So awesome!! <3 XOXO

  6. Helle Nyholm says:

    Wauu – you guys are so cool –and this new tool-box will be a big help for me, I am sure!
    Thanks!

    /Helle

  7. C. Lee McKenzie says:

    Hi Angela! Hi Becca! I read about your great collaboration over at Carrie Butler’s today and viola…I’m here. Congrats on your great work together. I’ll be back.

  8. I am so impressed with how much work you guys have done. Just signed up yesterday and received notes from my “book doctor/editor” on needing to slow down and get into settings more. Your thesaurus work will help me. many thanks

    • That is so great to hear–I am glad the Setting Thesaurus will be a good tool for you. Settings are just so important and full of potential as far as emotional showing goes.

      Good luck with edits!

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