Okay, when I first started writing, I used to think that I had an adequate enough vocabulary to simply smash my keyboard until a story came out.
My first attempt at a “novel” was in Year 10. I had a Cassiopeia “Pocket PC,” and I was continuously writing a Warhammer 40k – based fiction. However, I had issues connecting the device to anything else, and after holding onto the device for about five years, I eventually gave up on trying to remove it from the device’s memory. It was a sad day.
Skip forward about another year or so, and I started to pretend that I might actually be able to write something that someone else might want to read. I fancied myself a bit of a “professional” (N.B. to date my total earnings from writing total about $2,000, and almost exclusively from non-fiction), so I went out and bought a Thesaurus. Initially, it was just to sit on my bookshelf and look professional. I don’t think I opened it for about three years – during the writing of Katawa Shoujo.
A thesaurus is an interesting beast, especially a small one like mine (only 300,000 entries). Without it, you can find yourself repeating yourself without even realising it. But simply having one in front of you is enough to “prime” you, and you become aware of the repetition or repeating yourself, like you are primed to notice it.
And if you notice this, and you pick up the book and thumb through its pages, you’ll find that you almost always find a better way of explaining the situation – even before you reach the word you were looking for.
Unfortunately for me, for reasons that are really boring, my thesaurus has been stuck in storage for almost a year. However, I now have my new bookshelf (already full and double-stacked in some areas), and my trusty companion is back.
As a result, Arctic Gale, which has taken all day to write and is 2-3 times longer than the average chapter (and 13% of the novel so far), should hopefully be a little more immersing.