So, we’ve dwelt a little on how writing in the “active voice” can infuse our writing with specific, active vocabulary-verbs. See what I did there?J
Here’s another place where we can tap into our pre-existing vocabulary banks: using terms figuratively. You don’t need any really flashy vocab words to do this, either (although if you can use flashy words figuratively, so much the better!). All you really need to do is consider a whole set of words, such as “sports terms” or “war imagery” as fair game for us to use out of context (figuratively, not literally).
WAR: battlefield reconnaissance sortie shock troops blitz
commando raid soldier commander percussive land mines battle lines parley secret weapon surrender ambush fortress castle bunker trenches
Then use one or more of these words in place of a less energetic simple term:
Before: Despite his desire to kill the monster at once, Victor goes with the monster to its hut on the glacier.
After: Despite his desire to kill the monster at once, Victor agrees to parley with the monster at its hut on the glacier.
That’s it! It’s not literally a parley (where the generals pause for discussion before a battle), but it is a temporary truce, so I think I can use it figuratively. Remember: the goal here is not simply to use big words to try to sound sophisticated; rather, the goal is to be precise. Sometimes figurative language conveys exactly what you mean to say. Good luck! --Mr. G.
Assignment: Come up with three “categories” (like “WAR” above) that you can use to brainstorm terms. Get a bunch of them down, even simple ones. ANY category can work! (Hyperbole? Let’s see.) Then, after you do your brainstorming, use a few of the terms in phrases or sentences (you may write about Frankenstein, or not … up to you … any practice is good practice at this point, I think).