Tuesday, June 2, 2009

FOR WRITERS: My Favorite Link

I’d thought I’d share my favorite link that I use while writing. I pull it up before I even open my manuscript:


It’s free, although usually when I first pull it up a pop-up ad will appear. But after I close it I don’t get any more of them on my subsequent searches.

The main reason I use it is because of the historical aspect of my books. At the bottom of the definition it gives a word origin date. If I use a word that strikes me as possibly too modern, I look up the definition for the origin date. Now, obviously, I can’t do this with every word I write or I’d never get a book finished, but if something strikes me, I’ll look it up. Usually it’s the longer words. For example, I wanted to use ‘paradox’ but that sounded like it might be a more modern concept. But apparently the word originated in 1530 (although its meaning has changed since the word was first used). Séance is a word I looked up for Enchanting the Beast. It originated in 1795, which is okay for that Victorian series, but it’s not a word I could use with my new Georgian series.

I also like that the site has other options for a thesaurus and reference. I do a quick search here, but if I’m looking for just the right word, I’ll refer to my print thesaurus, which has many more options. The reference, though, comes in handy. For example, I wanted to make sure I was spelling ‘geas’ correctly (and even now my spell check underlines it). But when I looked it up in the dictionary, it came back that no such word exists. Now, I’m aware it’s a fantasy term, and I know it exists, so I hit the reference button. Sure enough, it pulled up ‘geis’, which apparently is another spelling I wasn’t familiar with, but scroll down and sure enough it talks about a ‘geas’.

In my current WIP, I wanted to use ‘black diamonds’ as a comparison to my hero’s eyes. But alas, the term did not originate until 1910 (probably because we didn’t have the technology to create them until then). So, I will have to come up with some other comparison.

I use it as a quick reference for hundreds of other reasons and I hope you’ll find it handy as well.

Until Next Time,


Lisa Logan said...

I use it all the time, especially the thesaurus! It's a handy resource. In fact, I can't recall the last time I actually cracked open my print ones!


Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

LOL, Lisa. I know, it's so easy to get spoiled with that instant info at your fingertips. Thanks for commenting!

Cynde L. Hammond said...

Hi, Kathryn!

Thanks for the tip. I decided that I would open up the Dictionary.com link before I start writing, also, and it works like a charm! How did I ever live without it?

By the way, I read the excerpt from "Enchanting the Beast" and it was fabulous. I'll have to go out and get that book now, and then I'll do a review of it on my blog. But first I need to know: are your books written in sequence or are they stand-alones?

If you get a second, could you please visit my blog and leave the answer in my Guestbook? I would appreciate that so very much!

Also, I'm a "follower" of Much Cheaper Than Therapy now, so you'll be seeing more of me. (not a threat, just a promise. LOL!) I've also added it to the "Blog List" on the right-hand side of my blog.

I think that we, as writers, need to support each other in every way we can, don't you? Plus, I love this blog--it's really great!

Well, it was nice "meeting" you.

Until next time,
Cynde's Got The Write Stuff

Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

Hi Cynde!
Thanks so much for leaving a comment, and great to hear that you're a follower of our blog!
I stopped by your blog and left an answer to your question. And I wholeheartedly agree that sharing with other writers is essential. There's such a profound sense of community within our field.
Wishing you all my best,