A List of Words

by Helen Hollick


One of the things I notice when reading drafts (or even published novels!) is the repetition of words: 'He ran up the stairs, ran down the landing, and ran into the room.'
Does that not sound better as : 'He ran up the stairs, raced down the landing, and sprinted into the room.' ?

Think about your words - it is fine to say 'said' - but not again, and again - how about mumbled, shouted, cried, whispered? All words that also convey a character's emotion,
Can you hear the difference between : 'You are a fool!' he shouted, and 'You are a fool!' he laughed. ?
So different words can completely change the meaning of a sentence.

Several years ago I made myself a word list - please feel free to use it as and when you wish.

LOOK
Inspectbeholdcheckexaminecontemplate
Eyefeastgazeglanceobserve
Considerpeeprecceregardscan
Seescrutinisestudysurveydekko
Viewwatchclockgawkgawp
Glowergoggleoglegapestare
Peerbutchersganderglimpsereview
Shuftionce-oversightsquint
MOVE
Advancebudgechangestirgo
TrotMarchproceedprogressshift
Jogstormstamppushelbow
RUN
Canterlopescampertake offslope off
Careerboltdashdartgallop
Harehastenhigh-tailhot foothurry
Leg itracescramblescudscurry
Speedsprintabscondrushclear out
Beatboltdecampdepartescape
Fleeflyscarperskedaddletrample
AMBLE
Dawdlemeanderstrollwalkwander
Driftsaunterramblemosey
PAIN
Alarmapprehensiondreadhorrorpanic
Fear/frightterrornightmareagitationdistress
Afraidscaredshuddertrembleintimidation
Harrowinghorrendousachecrampdiscomfort
Hurtsorenessspasmsufferingthrob
Agonyanguishtormentinjurewretchedness
SAID
Snappedscreechedgroanedlaughedcomforted
Rebukedtormentedsneeredhowledopined
Coaxedcommandedsnipedsplutteredgrizzled
Quippedvowedbraggedjeeredgrumbled
Beggedburbledsoothedboastedroared
Shoutedweptbeganchivviedcalled
Exclaimeddemandedbabbledchortledpersisted
Exhortedgrowledtauntedwheezedcarolled
Advisedstatedsniggeredhissedwailed
Giggledenquireddirectedbellowedsnarled
Stammeredjokedqueriedannouncedsnorted
Screamedsighedteasedquotedjibed
Pontificatedgruntedblurtedpraisedcontinued
Expostulatedrailedstormedmumbledenthused
Appealedinterruptedmockedholleredgasped
Expoundedrejoinedinsistedyelledinsinuated
Sobbedaddedofferedexpandedraged
Shriekedprayedremarkedanswereddeclared
Liedexplodedcriedconfidedsuggested
Informedinferredflashedprattledhinted
Intonedchidedretortedassertedmoaned
Askedwhisperedexplainedspatcountered
Stutteredreplied breathed gustedmaintained
Protestedsulkedcomplained