website statistics The Writer's Lexicon: Descriptions, Overused Words, and Taboos - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

The Writer's Lexicon: Descriptions, Overused Words, and Taboos

Availability: Ready to download

You just read your manuscript and discovered that your characters nod like marionettes in every chapter. When they’re not nodding, they roll their eyes. Time to slash the Pinocchio strings and turn them into real people. Award-winning author Kathy Steinemann provides the tools. She cuts through the so-called rules and offers simple solutions. Too many repetitions of “little” You just read your manuscript and discovered that your characters nod like marionettes in every chapter. When they’re not nodding, they roll their eyes. Time to slash the Pinocchio strings and turn them into real people. Award-winning author Kathy Steinemann provides the tools. She cuts through the so-called rules and offers simple solutions. Too many repetitions of “little”? There’s a cure for that. Do you rely on “very” too often? There’s a cure for that too. You’ll find the remedies in this book’s dispensary. Should you ever use anything other than “said” to attribute dialogue? Are exclamation points taboo? The answers might surprise you. Learn how to harness body language, purge hackneyed adjectives, and draw on the environment for ambience. No more wooden characters. You’ll transform them into believable personalities that your readers will learn to love. Or hate. Get in the driver’s seat, relax, and enjoy your journey—with Kathy Steinemann’s book as your GPS.


Compare

You just read your manuscript and discovered that your characters nod like marionettes in every chapter. When they’re not nodding, they roll their eyes. Time to slash the Pinocchio strings and turn them into real people. Award-winning author Kathy Steinemann provides the tools. She cuts through the so-called rules and offers simple solutions. Too many repetitions of “little” You just read your manuscript and discovered that your characters nod like marionettes in every chapter. When they’re not nodding, they roll their eyes. Time to slash the Pinocchio strings and turn them into real people. Award-winning author Kathy Steinemann provides the tools. She cuts through the so-called rules and offers simple solutions. Too many repetitions of “little”? There’s a cure for that. Do you rely on “very” too often? There’s a cure for that too. You’ll find the remedies in this book’s dispensary. Should you ever use anything other than “said” to attribute dialogue? Are exclamation points taboo? The answers might surprise you. Learn how to harness body language, purge hackneyed adjectives, and draw on the environment for ambience. No more wooden characters. You’ll transform them into believable personalities that your readers will learn to love. Or hate. Get in the driver’s seat, relax, and enjoy your journey—with Kathy Steinemann’s book as your GPS.

30 review for The Writer's Lexicon: Descriptions, Overused Words, and Taboos

  1. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

    As a writer we get caught up in certain redundant phrases and terms. This lexicon can help the better more fluid writer break free. I find myself using the same terms over and over in both my writing and my reviewing. Now I have a desk reference that will give me alternatives. Not just alternatives, but super words that capture exactly what I mean and draw the pictures I want to portray. Writers truly can benefit from this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jacqui

    I devour synonyms, find myself staring into space as I consider whether my characters dragged, hauled, or lugged a box. I often jot down a clever description I read that allowed me to clearly visualize what the author meant. Readers of my blog, WordDreams have seen my seventy How-to-describe lists describing the pieces that make a story authentic (like senses, body language, emotions, clothing, pain, and more). When I discovered Kathy Steineman's book, The Writer's Lexicon: Descriptions, Overuse I devour synonyms, find myself staring into space as I consider whether my characters dragged, hauled, or lugged a box. I often jot down a clever description I read that allowed me to clearly visualize what the author meant. Readers of my blog, WordDreams have seen my seventy How-to-describe lists describing the pieces that make a story authentic (like senses, body language, emotions, clothing, pain, and more). When I discovered Kathy Steineman's book, The Writer's Lexicon: Descriptions, Overused Words, and Taboos (K. Steinemann Enterprises 2017), I couldn't resist buying it. It was the 'overused words' that really grabbed me: "...nuisances that annoy writers around the globe." Steinemann is talking about the repetitive mundane activities and thoughts that happen over and over in stories and must be noted. How does a writer make stuff like said, shrugged, and sighed exciting--or at least not distracting? For example, with the word Big, Steinemann encourages the writer to think about what they really mean in context, and then provides workarounds: "Bernard's ego was bigger than his bank account." or "Bernard's ego outmatched his mammoth bank account." For each word, she includes a massive list of replacements, providing writers with a plethora of options to better express their ideas. For big, the list includes: 2XL, ample, chunky, epic, far-ranging, galactic, Herculean, immane, Kodiak-sized, Rhinoesque, Queen-sized, XXL, and ubergross. There aren't a lot of words, maybe because each is thoroughly covered, but other words she includes are: beautiful, bring, cried, frown, great, little, nodded [I definitely overuse this one], said, sat, shrug, sigh, and very. Though I gravitated to these lists, she also includes 1) "Common Pitfalls"--lists of words to watch for in your writing. These include have, get, literally, decide, essentially, and more. She also has Taboos such as Absolute Adjectives, Cursing, Redundancies, and Rolling the Eyes. 2) exercises to help transform boring to brilliant. I keep this book on my iPad by my computer during the editing/wordsmithing phase of my writing. It forces me to think through what exactly I mean in any given phrase. It is highly recommended for serious writers.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nada Sobhi

    Note: I received a free copy of The Writer's Lexicon: Descriptions, Overused Words, and Taboos from its author Kathy Steinmann in exchange for an honest review. To say that The Writer's Lexicon: Descriptions, Overused Words, and Taboos by Kathy Steinman is a wealth of information is an understatement. This book is unbelievable in the amount of research, help, and information it provides. “Although you’ll encounter a few “rules” in this book, writing is not rules. It is a fusion of emotions, se Note: I received a free copy of The Writer's Lexicon: Descriptions, Overused Words, and Taboos from its author Kathy Steinmann in exchange for an honest review. To say that The Writer's Lexicon: Descriptions, Overused Words, and Taboos by Kathy Steinman is a wealth of information is an understatement. This book is unbelievable in the amount of research, help, and information it provides. “Although you’ll encounter a few “rules” in this book, writing is not rules. It is a fusion of emotions, senses, and conflict. Whatever engages your readers should be the rule.” Not only does Steinmann offer tonnes of alternatives for many clichés and overused words, she also gives detailed advice on show not tell, when to tell and not show, and tonnes of examples for everything she says. “Instead of making your characters cry, show their emotions.” The Writer's Lexicon is an encyclopedia of writing tips, word lists, and workarounds. A reference I plan to use every time I write and/or edit a book. The book covers clichés and overused words like “nodded”, “said”, “shrug”, “shake the head”, “have”, “to be”, just to name a few. Steinmann digs deeper by how writers can handle the “I” in first person narration, cursing, redundancies in writing, punctuation, and last but certainly not least, how to write using the senses and environment. “A groaning heart paints a different picture than a cartwheeling one. In each case, a single word tells how the protagonist is feeling.” (From examples on replacing “pounding”) There’s even a lengthy section on how to avoid using the dreaded “very”. It’s the longest chapter in the book. Steinmann offers dozens of story prompts along the way, whether you wish to use them as exercises to practice the lessons mentioned in the book or actually develop them into a full-length novel, is entirely up to you. But there is lots to keep you inspired. There are also exercises at the end of each section to allow you to practice what you’ve learnt. “Clear the Throat. Irritating in real life. Ditto in fiction.” Although it took me a while to read, The Writer's Lexicon is a must-read for both seasoned and newbie writers. Even if you’ve memorised the dictionary, Steinmann’s examples will help improve your writing. Reading Steinmann’s The Writer's Lexicon has also helped me as a reviewer and I hope as a blogger and writer in general. “Repeat any word often enough, and it morphs into an irritation just as obnoxious as a saddle sore on a long ride.” I’m thrilled to have received the opportunity to read this book, which has been and will continue to be a great help to me, and which I think I would never have found in my home country Egypt. I pretty much bookmarked every page in this book. Steinmann’s writing style and occasional sarcasm is fun to read. Overall, the whole book was a pleasure to read, even if the tonnes of information was sometimes overwhelming. “Remember who your protagonists or narrators are and choose creative words to match their personalities and backgrounds.” My rating standard is 1 to 5 stars. But The Writer's Lexicon: Descriptions, Overused Words, and Taboos by Kathy Steinman is a 10-star read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stuart Aken

    Are you a lover of words? Do you write? Is language use an issue of interest? If so, you’ll find Kathy Steinemann’s ‘The Writer’s Lexicon’ a veritable cornucopia of expressive words. A thesaurus provides alternatives for the idea of a word. A dictionary gives definitions and, sometimes, origins for those construction blocks we use daily to build our speech and writing. But Kathy’s book achieves so much more than those simple reference works. Sections include enticing headings: Common Pitfalls; l Are you a lover of words? Do you write? Is language use an issue of interest? If so, you’ll find Kathy Steinemann’s ‘The Writer’s Lexicon’ a veritable cornucopia of expressive words. A thesaurus provides alternatives for the idea of a word. A dictionary gives definitions and, sometimes, origins for those construction blocks we use daily to build our speech and writing. But Kathy’s book achieves so much more than those simple reference works. Sections include enticing headings: Common Pitfalls; listing words writers should use with care to avoid repetition or banality. Single word usage from ‘Beautiful’ to ‘Went’; defining some overused terms and suggesting alternatives by giving textual examples and providing different ways to structure sentences. Punctuation; covering exclamations, ellipses, em dashes, and the correct formatting of text to prevent ugly presentation. Taboos; including absolutes, and cursing, and giving advice for the YA and Christian genres. Redundancies; listing those words we sometimes manage to embellish unnecessarily. Common gestures that are clichés in writing. Sensory words including onomatopoeia, colour, scent, taste, and touch. In most cases, she provides alphabetical lists of substitute words. And she even delivers some writing prompts for those in search of inspiration. If I have a criticism, it’s actually a warning: beware when using this as an aid; the danger is you’ll become so absorbed in the offerings that you might forget why you’re there! The purpose of this entertaining and truly inspiring book is the improvement of writing by authors in particular, but it’s a manual many others will also find instructive in self-expression. It will now form a reference source for my own work, to be used when editing. And I expect to find my fiction enriched and rendered more accessible and entertaining as a result. I’ve been able to review this book on my website and on Goodreads, but I’m prevented from doing so on Amazon, as I provided the Foreword to the book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Graham Downs

    An exceedingly useful, if not indispensible, writing guide. This book goes deeper than probably any I've read so far on the subject of writing. The first half consists of words writers should avoid or use sparingly, from the obvious "very" to the less obvious "sat". There is one chapter for each of these words (And there are lots of them), and each one contains loads of examples for adjectives, nouns, and verbs to use instead. "Before-and-after" example paragraphs abound, and each chapter's also An exceedingly useful, if not indispensible, writing guide. This book goes deeper than probably any I've read so far on the subject of writing. The first half consists of words writers should avoid or use sparingly, from the obvious "very" to the less obvious "sat". There is one chapter for each of these words (And there are lots of them), and each one contains loads of examples for adjectives, nouns, and verbs to use instead. "Before-and-after" example paragraphs abound, and each chapter's also packed with writing prompts to help get your creative juices flowing. After these "Words to Avoid" chapters, we move into things like when to use certain punctuation marks, how and when to incorporate swearing into your story, and things to avoid when writing in the third person. It's definitely a book I'll be keeping on my device to refer to again and again. Having said all that, there was something ... off about the writing. I couldn't immediately put my finger on it, but it affected my enjoyment of this book. After thinking about it for a while, I realised what it was. It's very "teachy". It feels a bit like the author is a doctor who's really good at what she does, but her bedside manner leaves more than a bit to be desired. There are example paragraphs, before and after certain changes, and the author will say something like "The second paragraph is much stronger." or maybe "Don't you think the second paragraph sounds so much better? That's a rhetorical question, and it can come off as patronising. She also refers back to the two big style guides quite often - "This is what the Chicago Manual of Style says on the subject." As if that's an end to it. Sure, she SAYS that everyone's different, and you should write what works for you, but the tone of her advice is less advice and more instruction. "This is the way you should do it. Now do it this way and no other." I guess when you've been an editor for as long as Ms Steinemann has, you develop a thick skin. Much like that proverbial doctor. That may not be a bad thing for you. If you want to learn the correct way to write, this book is definitely for you. If you like to make up your own mind about things, you might disagree with the author on a couple of points, but you'll hopefully agree with her on a lot more. Either way, this book is for you, too.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elise Edmonds

    Why I read this book I enjoy Kathy Steinemann’s blog, where over the last couple of years she has produced various lists helpful to writers looking for alternatives to common and overused words and phrases. Needless to say, I was excited to see many of the posts reproduced and expanded into book form. Rating/content I give this book 5 out of 5 stars The book consists of the following lists and discussion: overused words and phrases (such as frown, smile, little, said), overused punctuation, taboos i Why I read this book I enjoy Kathy Steinemann’s blog, where over the last couple of years she has produced various lists helpful to writers looking for alternatives to common and overused words and phrases. Needless to say, I was excited to see many of the posts reproduced and expanded into book form. Rating/content I give this book 5 out of 5 stars The book consists of the following lists and discussion: overused words and phrases (such as frown, smile, little, said), overused punctuation, taboos in writing, sensory words, and the environment. Each section includes a discussion of the word or phrase in question, examples of improved word usage, lists of alternative words, and some exercises. Good points This book is an excellent resource. Like most writers, I’m prone to repeating common words and sometimes find it difficult to get out of the rut and come up with alternatives. Not only does Kathy offer many, many alternatives, she discusses the reason behind why particular words may have been used and what emotions the writer is attempting to invoke. This discussion leads to alternative ways of creating narrative without using the words or a direct substitute. The variety of words covered is extensive and uses most of the words I have particular problems with. I’m looking forward to using the book to reduce instances of turned, nodded, and frowned in particular! This book complements another favourite of mine, The Emotion Thesaurus (by Angela Ackerman). Many of the ways to show emotion in writing can involve repetitive bodily actions and feelings. Between these two books, I now have many ways to add interest to my writing without repetition or cliche. Bad points The exercises and story prompts didn’t really do it for me. I tend to be the kind of person who scans a book like this when buying it, and then refers to it as needed, rather than doing exercises just for the sake of it. They were useful as examples, but probably not a part of the book I shall use ongoing. However, I’m sure they will be useful for some people. Overall A great tool for enabling self-editing and analysis of one’s own work. Definitely a must-have for the writer’s library.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    This is an invaluable resource for any writer, with lots of good advice. Every writer overuses certain words, or finds it difficult to think of a different way of writing a sentence - this book helps you overcome those difficulties with lots of useful suggestions for alternatives. There are also some exercises so you can put the advice into practice, and writing prompts for authors who are stuck for ideas. I will be going over my WIP with this book by my side!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Eileen Troemel

    This book should sit next to every author who edits. She gives lists of words for overused words but she also offers insight and sound advice on how to improve your writing. In one section she talks about sensory words which many authors forget about. I'm not sure this would work for a writer who is mid flow of book but it is definitely a great resource for anyone who edits. The format is easy to read and work through the whole book. It's a good book to read all in one to get the layout but it's This book should sit next to every author who edits. She gives lists of words for overused words but she also offers insight and sound advice on how to improve your writing. In one section she talks about sensory words which many authors forget about. I'm not sure this would work for a writer who is mid flow of book but it is definitely a great resource for anyone who edits. The format is easy to read and work through the whole book. It's a good book to read all in one to get the layout but it's a good book to pull out as you edit.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nikolas Larum

    Kathy Steinemann's generous gift to all writers, The Writer's Lexicon, is a tool that should reside on the workbench of all word crafters. The meat of the work is the synonym lists. But this is not your mother's thesaurus. Steinemann provides replacements for well-worn words and phrases that add texture and dimension to the writing with the added benefit of increasing the impact and economy of words. She has also filled it with writing tips, story prompts, and useful exercises. I read it cover t Kathy Steinemann's generous gift to all writers, The Writer's Lexicon, is a tool that should reside on the workbench of all word crafters. The meat of the work is the synonym lists. But this is not your mother's thesaurus. Steinemann provides replacements for well-worn words and phrases that add texture and dimension to the writing with the added benefit of increasing the impact and economy of words. She has also filled it with writing tips, story prompts, and useful exercises. I read it cover to cover and put her coaching to immediate use. Thank you, Kathy, for your dedication to the craft and discipline in compiling your lists. Your generosity will be rewarded.

  10. 5 out of 5

    D.G. Kaye

    Steinemann is a prolific writer and editor, and this book is a gift for all writers to keep handy at their desks to use when writing stories. Her grammar, punctuation, word alternatives, and sentence structure demonstrations shared in this book are a goldmine of tips for writers to aid in enhancing writing. The author gives us a plethora of examples to simplify her lessons along with a nice selection of word prompts to use with her examples. This book goes beyond the typical thesaurus. Better wor Steinemann is a prolific writer and editor, and this book is a gift for all writers to keep handy at their desks to use when writing stories. Her grammar, punctuation, word alternatives, and sentence structure demonstrations shared in this book are a goldmine of tips for writers to aid in enhancing writing. The author gives us a plethora of examples to simplify her lessons along with a nice selection of word prompts to use with her examples. This book goes beyond the typical thesaurus. Better words, better word choices and better writing is what you can expect after reading and putting Steinemann's lessons into practice. #Recommended.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Rogerson

    The author contacted me about reviewing her book and I'm so pleased she did. When I read the line '...characters nodding like marionettes in every chapter', I knew this was a writing resource I had to read. It couldn't have come at a better time for me as I'm in the process of fine-tuning the second book in my series Silent Sea Chronicles. I know I'm guilty of creating nodding, grinning character who laugh and cry far too much. There are plenty of other examples of words that you may not even rea The author contacted me about reviewing her book and I'm so pleased she did. When I read the line '...characters nodding like marionettes in every chapter', I knew this was a writing resource I had to read. It couldn't have come at a better time for me as I'm in the process of fine-tuning the second book in my series Silent Sea Chronicles. I know I'm guilty of creating nodding, grinning character who laugh and cry far too much. There are plenty of other examples of words that you may not even realise you are overusing in this book and a multitude of alternatives to try. Kathy Steinemann uses imaginative examples of how not to write sentences, along with examples of how to improve your work. There are A-Z lists of alternative words, and story prompts throughout. The book gets you thinking about why you have chosen particular words, and she helps you think of ways a few well placed words can bring your story to life. There are also chapters on overused punctuation, how to include the senses in your writing, and a list of 400 redundant words. I think it's a brilliant book for every writer to have on their desk. Unfortunately, I've only read The Writer's Lexicon on kindle (I highly recommend a paperback). I can imagine my paperback copy would have post-it notes stuck all over my favourite chapters. It has certainly got me thinking, and I will be using this as a guide to help me tighten the writing in my books. 5 well deserved stars

  12. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Smith

    I was provided a copy of this book in order to give an impartial review. If you are a writer of prose (No matter the genre) and you find yourself stumbling over repeated words or phrases or you keep touching on the same one or two sensory descriptions without much variety, then this book is for you. It is provides many examples of overused words and phrases that most writers fall into (Characters nodding or shrugging or crying all the time, hearts pounding or things being noisy, etc) and then pro I was provided a copy of this book in order to give an impartial review. If you are a writer of prose (No matter the genre) and you find yourself stumbling over repeated words or phrases or you keep touching on the same one or two sensory descriptions without much variety, then this book is for you. It is provides many examples of overused words and phrases that most writers fall into (Characters nodding or shrugging or crying all the time, hearts pounding or things being noisy, etc) and then provides examples of how to get around that based on what it is you are actually trying to convey. Is someone's heart pounding because they are excited, afraid, aroused? Well, there are many other descriptions/actions that can show those things besides a hammering heart. In addition to that, she provides ways of enhancing your reader's experience by peppering your prose with sensory descriptions. Most of us focus on sight and, to some extent, sound, but the sense of smell is far more visceral, and a sense of texture in the ground or the wall or an object can really ground a reader in the viewpoint character's head. My sense of smell isn't the best, so the list of "smell words" has been a blessing for me. Again, if you're a writer and in need of editing tools, give this book a try. You won't regret it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Susan Misey

    In "The Art of Authorship," Mark Twain famously stated, "The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter-- 'tis the difference between the lightning bug and a lightning bolt." There's a reason Twain is one of our most revered writers of all time. He was a true wordsmith. For the rest of us who have to work a little harder to make our fiction and creative nonfiction cut through the darkness, help has arrived. If you're looking for a writer's resource that wor In "The Art of Authorship," Mark Twain famously stated, "The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter-- 'tis the difference between the lightning bug and a lightning bolt." There's a reason Twain is one of our most revered writers of all time. He was a true wordsmith. For the rest of us who have to work a little harder to make our fiction and creative nonfiction cut through the darkness, help has arrived. If you're looking for a writer's resource that works triple-duty as a thesaurus, an editing manual, and an instructional manual rife with exercises and examples? Then you need this book. THE WRITER'S LEXICON is completely user-friendly. You can read it cover-to-cover, taking time to work the exercises if you are relatively new to the writing craft. Or you can grab it, reference the Table of Contents, and use it as needed. It would also make a great textbook for a creative writing class. Having spent a career teaching CW, I could see using this book to teach valuable mini-lessons each day on craft alone. The exercises are designed to stimulate creativity. Another thing I really liked about this book is Steinemann's use of humor. How-To books can be a bit tedious. Not this one. Steinemann is a writer after my own heart. Her exercises and examples are similar in tone to those I constructed for my own students after finding regular teaching materials way too deadly to capture student imaginations. BUT make no mistake--there is plenty here for the advanced writer as well. Many of us struggle to vary our use of tired action tags. She shrugged. He rolled his eyes. You get the idea. Here's where the book functions as a thesaurus. This resource offers both synonyms for these overused phrases as well as suggestions for crafting stronger sentences. Another section in this book addresses punctuation pitfalls. One of my favorite chapters is on the use of exclamation points. I once had a colleague who taught Environmental Science. Every time the English department received an email from Ms. Pahsnooty, we counted the exclamation points she used. A short email might contain thirty-six exclamation points. Steinemann needs to send that woman this book!!!!! (Irony, people.) There's an excellent section on figurative language and sensory description--ever need a better way to describe environmental ambiance? That's in here, too. But, my absolute favorite section of this book is a bit personal. I am told I come from a long line of female cussers. Knowing my prediliction for swearing can be a turn-off for some readers, I am trying to reduce my use of swear words. There is a mighty, meaty chapter on doing just that along with suggestions and exercises for changing up tired old curses for more innovative, descriptive language. All in all, THE WRITER'S LEXICON is a gem that belongs on your writer's bookshelf. And that's no fox shibblettes. (This review will also appear on foxywriterchick on September 29, 2017.)

  14. 4 out of 5

    J Aislynn d'Merricksson

    ***This book was reviewed independently As a writer myself, both poet and author, I’m always on the lookout for new words, and new ways of playing with them. Reading writingcraft books inevitably sparks a flurry of writing or editing, and this book was no exception. I managed to get quite a bit done! I adore thesauri. They are a writer's best friend, especially ones that help with body language. The first half of this nifty tome is stuffed with thesaurus lists to help tighten writing, focusing on ***This book was reviewed independently As a writer myself, both poet and author, I’m always on the lookout for new words, and new ways of playing with them. Reading writingcraft books inevitably sparks a flurry of writing or editing, and this book was no exception. I managed to get quite a bit done! I adore thesauri. They are a writer's best friend, especially ones that help with body language. The first half of this nifty tome is stuffed with thesaurus lists to help tighten writing, focusing on key words that tend to be overused. There is a section on unusual punctuation that tends to be overused, like ellipses or exclamations. Another section looks at supposed writing taboos such as using cursing, working with 'have’ and 'to be’ and how to work with or around them. The final sections are thesauri for incorporating sensory words to strengthen your writing. I love learning new tidbits too. I wasn't aware of how hyphenated adjectives work if they come before or after that which they describe. And I learned a new word! Grawlix! Who knew? 📚📚📚📚📚 This book is a marvelous addition to any writer’s writingcraft shelf.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Paul Metheney

    Every aspiring author should read this, then use it on every manuscript to tighten up their writing. Better than a thesaurus, this book provides not just replacements for common problem words, but explanations on various situations and scenarios in which they might appear in your work in progress. One replacement does not fit all. Correctly replacing a problematic word can insert additional depth into a passage. By using Search or Find in your word processor of choice, you can find these problem Every aspiring author should read this, then use it on every manuscript to tighten up their writing. Better than a thesaurus, this book provides not just replacements for common problem words, but explanations on various situations and scenarios in which they might appear in your work in progress. One replacement does not fit all. Correctly replacing a problematic word can insert additional depth into a passage. By using Search or Find in your word processor of choice, you can find these problem words and determine whether eliminating or replacing them will make your work better. Kathy also provides tips on better writing in other areas besides common problem words. Novice and experienced writers, both, should be using this every day to tighten up their work.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Great Reference for Writers Kathy Steinemann's book is chock full of descriptive words and examples on how to use them. She also provides prompts as ways for writers gaining a better understanding of words and how they can enliven stories. Steinemann lists words to avoid and caveats on areas that writers need to know to empower their work. This book deserves a place on every writer's bookshelf. Great Reference for Writers Kathy Steinemann's book is chock full of descriptive words and examples on how to use them. She also provides prompts as ways for writers gaining a better understanding of words and how they can enliven stories. Steinemann lists words to avoid and caveats on areas that writers need to know to empower their work. This book deserves a place on every writer's bookshelf.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Janice Spina

    The Writer’s Lexicon is a comprehensive compilation of helpful information invaluable to all authors, writers out there. I use it constantly when I am in writing mode. The author has covered everything in here about word usage, overused words, sensory words, punctuation, taboos and words for the environment. It’s an exceptional reference. I highly recommend that all writers keep one at their desk ready to use when needed.

  18. 5 out of 5

    R.T. Graham

    I bought the paperback version, hoping it would be the reference book it appeared to be. It hasn't failed me, and I'm already using it with my current WIP. I keep returning to it for helpful suggestions and better word choices, even though I have a terrific thesaurus. I started using it the very day I received it, then finished as time permitted. Sensory Words, The Environment and Taboos I've found to be especially helpful. An awesome book that I recommend for any writer! I bought the paperback version, hoping it would be the reference book it appeared to be. It hasn't failed me, and I'm already using it with my current WIP. I keep returning to it for helpful suggestions and better word choices, even though I have a terrific thesaurus. I started using it the very day I received it, then finished as time permitted. Sensory Words, The Environment and Taboos I've found to be especially helpful. An awesome book that I recommend for any writer!

  19. 5 out of 5

    J.I. Rogers

    "The Writer's Lexicon" has earned a place on my writer's altar and I urge any writers, new or experienced, to pick up a copy and see why. This is destined to become a 'must-have' reference for 'serious', and 'sometime' writers alike. "The Writer's Lexicon" has earned a place on my writer's altar and I urge any writers, new or experienced, to pick up a copy and see why. This is destined to become a 'must-have' reference for 'serious', and 'sometime' writers alike.

  20. 4 out of 5

    A.J. Newman

    Excellent! A must-have for all authors.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shea Carlson

    Just what I need for all stages of the writing process. I refer to it often.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shelly Rawlings

    (Disclaimer: I received this book for free to review. This review originally appeared on my personal blog.) As an editor/writing coach, I find myself constantly on the search for new resources for my writers to use to hone their craft. And since my writers can't spend all of their time writing (yes, even starving artists need a break), I like to recommend books they can read in their free time that can help them learn about the art of writing from someone's voice other than my own. With that, many (Disclaimer: I received this book for free to review. This review originally appeared on my personal blog.) As an editor/writing coach, I find myself constantly on the search for new resources for my writers to use to hone their craft. And since my writers can't spend all of their time writing (yes, even starving artists need a break), I like to recommend books they can read in their free time that can help them learn about the art of writing from someone's voice other than my own. With that, many of you know that I spend a lot of my time perusing Facebook groups for writers. (I love to answer people's questions and learn about up-and-coming authors!) It was in one of these groups that I first heard about The Writer's Lexicon, and after seeing it recommended by some of the more dedicated writers in these groups, I was excited to receive it to review. And let me tell you -- I wasn't disappointed. Author Kathy Steinemann writes in her highly-acclaimed book that she often found herself "creating alternatives for overused words" and saving lists of these substitutes on her computer. These lists eventually became her latest work -- but with The Writer's Lexicon: Descriptions, Overused Words, and Taboos, she did more than just create a thesaurus. At its roots, Steinemann has essentially published a narrative-style reference book for authors who find their writing to be too repetitive in a number of ways. Whether you're reusing the same old descriptive words like "beautiful" and "loud," or you need to replace cliché phrases like her "heart pounded" or he "shook his head," Steinemann's reference guide provides smart alternatives that actually fit your sentences -- much unlike a thesaurus, which never seems to have quite the right word. But then again, The Writer's Lexicon isn't just a reference book. By using a narrative style, Steinemann speaks to her reader like a writing mentor would as they went through a manuscript. In a way, it almost feels personal. And by completing some or all of the numerous writing exercises, you can make it personal. Now, I will admit that the exercises aren't exactly life-changing. They mostly ask the reader to practice replacing the terms, phrases, or "taboos" (like overused ellipses or em-dashes) with the alternatives she provides, which, to an experienced writer, hardly seems to be worth the effort. It is worth the effort, however, when you apply these tips from Steinemann to your own manuscript, instead of the provided text. And it is that practice that makes me want to recommend this guide to every aspiring author I know. You see, when you buy The Writer's Lexicon, it shouldn't go straight to the shelf until you need to replace an overused phrase. You should read it. Front to back. You'll soon find that after reading each section -- and Steinemann's effortless commentary -- you'll notice the taboos that Steinemann mentions in your own work-in-progress. And that's when it's time to pick up the book again -- as a reference guide to help you find alternatives to the repetition you're seeing. It is clear through this book that Steinemann knows what she's talking about in terms of creating fluid, natural narrative that sticks in the minds of readers -- and with her help, you can too. All in all, I was absolutely delighted to read The Writer's Lexicon by Kathy Steinemann, and I would absolutely recommend it to you (yes, you!) and any other writer I come across who needs a little extra boost to get their manuscript to print. I even plan on keeping the title in my back pocket to recommend to the writers I mentor whenever they're stuck on a cliché. (And if that's you, then it's time to get crackin'!)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karin

    I'll be honest -- I'd never heard of Kathy Steinemann until a few months ago. She found my website online and thought I might appreciate her book, The Writer's Lexicon: Descriptions, Overused Words and Taboos, as a resource for my writing. She offered me a copy. I said I'd be happy to read it and review it, then I forgot completely about it. During that time, I edited a manuscript in which the characters turned an average of 1.5 times per page. In the next manuscript, everyone shrugged (men, wome I'll be honest -- I'd never heard of Kathy Steinemann until a few months ago. She found my website online and thought I might appreciate her book, The Writer's Lexicon: Descriptions, Overused Words and Taboos, as a resource for my writing. She offered me a copy. I said I'd be happy to read it and review it, then I forgot completely about it. During that time, I edited a manuscript in which the characters turned an average of 1.5 times per page. In the next manuscript, everyone shrugged (men, women, children). Then I found Steinemann's book, and I wish I had had it earlier to offer suggestions to my clients! I will admit that there were a few things in the book that Steinemann and I don't absolutely agree on (that's just how it is in publishing) and there were a couple of times when I thought she could have elaborated a bit more, but I honestly don't think those things matter quite as much as her lists. I've seen lots of lists on line where English teachers and other well-educated, well-meaning people list all kinds of adverbs that authors "should" use to add variety to their stories. But here's the deal: publishers want authors to use adverbs sparingly, so using those lists can actually cause more problems than it will fix. Steinemann, however, has years of experience in the publishing industry, so she knows what works and what doesn't. As I read through her lists, I found myself nodding and agreeing with her suggestions. As an editor, I have seen all of those common words used over and over again in manuscripts. I don't say this lightly when I tell you that I could (and would) confidently recommend her book as a resource for new writers looking for ways to expand their descriptive word banks. I can see this being a useful tool, not just as a writer, but as an editor as well. I'm glad to have it in my resource library and am happy to share it with others.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jean Dunstan

    Excellent information, especially for someone who is interested in improving their writing skills. I will be referring to this book on a regular basis. I highly recommend it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Poppy Minnix

    I keep this close during second draft editing. It's a must have for those characters who shake their head seventy-six times or when you have twelve em dashes in one chapter. Not that I'd ever do such a thing. Ahem. Anyway, it's an excellent reference guide for polishing and strengthening your writing. I keep this close during second draft editing. It's a must have for those characters who shake their head seventy-six times or when you have twelve em dashes in one chapter. Not that I'd ever do such a thing. Ahem. Anyway, it's an excellent reference guide for polishing and strengthening your writing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    L.C.Lee

    This is a book you’ll want to keep a reference. I have read it through and plan on going back to it and do the exercises. Kathy has done an excellent job of organizing common issues that all writers face. Her examples of overused words will have you going back through your work to eliminate the trite and replace it with a stronger voice.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kayci Morgan

    Great book. Amazing resource for writers.

  28. 5 out of 5

    William Freeman

    One of three books I used for editing and story writing. A big help to any one who wishes to improve their book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn Roche

    Great book. Not just word lists Great relevant information for writers with excellent examples and resources. The groupings and lists are accompanied by rules and explanations.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Eldon Farrell

    This is not the type of book you should read once and forget. Rather this is the type of valuable resource any writer should reference over and over again. Kathy Steinemann has provided numerous detailed lists with seemingly endless alternatives for those pesky words we all have a tendency to overuse. I know this will come in handy in future for myself. For those interested, there are also several story prompts provided to help get the creative juices flowing. All that said, I felt the book should This is not the type of book you should read once and forget. Rather this is the type of valuable resource any writer should reference over and over again. Kathy Steinemann has provided numerous detailed lists with seemingly endless alternatives for those pesky words we all have a tendency to overuse. I know this will come in handy in future for myself. For those interested, there are also several story prompts provided to help get the creative juices flowing. All that said, I felt the book should've spent more time on the mechanics of writing and less time on pages and pages of synonyms. Despite it's value, it read a little closer to a thesaurus than I expected. Overall though, a solid resource worthy of 3.5 stars.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.