Writers own a lot of books, but there are only a few they really use. For me, one of those books is The Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus, second edition. I came across a reference to it in a blog, checked it out online, then ordered it. I love it. It helps me find a word that will freshen up what I’m writing, instead of repeating the same tired old words.
I recently discovered another book on goodreads that I think I will order. It’s entitled The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Emotional Expression by Angela Ackerman. It’s highly praised by users.
The third useful book I’m going to mention is a visual dictionary. I don’t mean an illustrated dictionary with more words than pictures. A visual dictionary has all pictures that are well-labeled. For example, when writing about a clockmaker, he would be using certain tools and dealing with specific parts of a clock. Most of us have no idea what those might be properly called. Such a book is invaluable then.
Be careful what you buy. A picture dictionary is not the same thing, nor is an illustrated dictionary. Some I would suggest are: Ultimate Visual Dictionary by DK Publishing; The Facts on File Visual Dictionary; The Macmillan Visual Dictionary; The Firefly Visual Dictionary; and the Merriam-Webster’s Visual Dictionary.
I’m always on the look-out for resources that will assist me where I have writing weaknesses. It’s good to cull our bookshelf from time to time and update our resources. Of course, lots of people don’t want to haul books around or store them. There are often good online resources as well. Here are a few helpful sites: