*GE*: Setting Thesaurus Entry: Barn Part 2 (Dairy)

The information for this entry came from our friend Joyce Servidio, which was nice, since neither Angela nor I have much experience with dairy farms. Thanks for the info, Joyce!

Cow breath on a cold day; steaming manure/urine; white-washed windows to keep the blinding morning sun out; cats hunting; mother cat with kittens; cats begging for squirt of milk from udder; sawdust; flicking of ears & tail; metal tags in ears; bull nose ring; calves nursing…

Fresh white-wash; fresh milk, sour milk; manure (different in summer than winter because of feed); fresh/sour haylage; fresh/sour silage; molasses; sawdust; fermenting corn silage…

Kittens mewing; cats meowing; mice & rats scutling; cats purring; chink of chains; clank of metal stantions; splatter of manure; scrap of shovel on concrete; brush of broom on concrete; cat fight; pulse of milking machines; calves blatting; calves suckling on nipple; splats of urine…

Warmth of cow on cold morning; cats stroking legs beging for taste of milk; sawdust; sticky mollasses; warmth of manure/urine if unlucky enough to get splashed; coolness of same if fall; smooth wood of haymow floor from years of sliding hay bales…

Mollasses; grain; oats; fresh milk; water.

Helpful hints:

–The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.

Example 1: The door slammed back and forth against the wall, hinges giving a rusty wheeze with each bang. Inside, the barn was dark as a hole, so a person had to make their way through it by feel, but that was hardly comforting. Shuffling feet awakened metal pails and broken pipes. Cobwebs fluttered in phantom breezes and stuck to the skin. Boards creaked. It was easy to imagine any number of things dwelling in such a place. And the imaginer would be right…

–Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.

Example 1: (Metaphor) Stalls lined the walls the length of the barn. A cow stood in each one, head down and staring at nothing while the metal milk machines did their work: robot parasites, sucking the life from their hosts…



Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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2 Responses to *GE*: Setting Thesaurus Entry: Barn Part 2 (Dairy)

  1. PJ Hoover says:

    Very nice, like Big plain V said, as always!

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