A Closer Look at Our Show-Don’t-Tell Database
As some of you know, the heart of One Stop For Writers is our signature Descriptive Thesaurus Database. 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, Traits, Settings, Symbolism, and Weather, 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 and our former OS partner, is a genius. He could see how the right medium would turn our thesaurus collections into a top-notch resource that would be super easy to use.
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.
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.
It 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.
One Stop for Writers’ Thesaurus is the largest fiction-focused description database anywhere.
Our THESAURUS dives into each database and pulls forth the most story-worthy details to make brainstorming easier for you as you write. You’ll be able to strengthen your description, focus on the details that matter most, and have non-stop ideas on tap when you need them. Stop by and check it out.
This powerful show-don’t-tell database is only one tool at One Stop for Writers. Join Becca for a tour below and see how we’re helping writers write stronger fiction faster.
Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, a portal to powerful, innovative tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.