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Writing Advice & Discussion > Can someone with an extensive vocabulary assist me?

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message 1: by R.J. (last edited May 16, 2020 06:17AM) (new)

R.J. Abell | 4 comments I find that I'm a repeat offender! I often write late at night and I'm so very tired so I will overuse the same words!!!! This is terrible. Anyways, in order to combat this atrocious habit I find I turn to the only place a writer like me can...the mighty thesaurus! Dun...dun...dun! Sometimes this works splendidly, beautifully, and other times it puts me in a pickle. I find words that are fickle and I have no idea if I am using them correctly - it would be an embarrassment to use them absurdly.

Okay, I'm done being silly now.

I do have a question. I was searching on an online thesaurus for synonyms for glare and came across lour. Word doesn't recognize it as a word and when I search synonyms for lour it corrects it online to lower. Is lour a word and am I using it correctly:

She lours, her sympathy gone.

Thanks in advance for your help!


message 2: by Tito (new)

Tito Athano (bobspringett) | 144 comments R.J. wrote: "I find that I'm a repeat offender! I often write late at night and I'm so very tired so I will overuse the same words!!!! This is terrible. Anyways, in order to combat this atrocious habit I find I..."

Being a repeat offender is bad, but a recidivist is beyond redemption!

As you might guess, you are not alone with this problem. Sometimes I need to re-draft the whole flow of a paragraph or two, just to avoid this problem. Instead of just changing the word itself, sometimes the whole sentence that begs for that word has to be amended to avoid the need

As for as your question goes, I glower at you in return as my eyes challenge you in aggressive contempt. (sorry, that's a bit purple, isn't it?)

All the best!


message 3: by R.J. (new)

R.J. Abell | 4 comments Tito wrote: "R.J. wrote: "I find that I'm a repeat offender! I often write late at night and I'm so very tired so I will overuse the same words!!!! This is terrible. Anyways, in order to combat this atrocious h..."

Thanks so much!


message 4: by Gifford (new)

Gifford MacShane (goodreadscomgifford_macshane) | 24 comments Unfortunately, Word doesn't recognize a good many expressions that aren't used too often any more. I write historicals and can't count the number of words it flags.

Lour can be spelled as "lower", but I believe most people these days would read that as a unit of measurement. I think you're better off with scowl or glower (as Tito recommends), unless you're writing in a historical period where your readers would be familiar with the term.

Happy writing!


message 5: by Dolores (last edited May 19, 2020 05:48PM) (new)

Dolores Go (dollygowritely) | 4 comments No worries, we've all been there before! :)

I've noticed that I tend to repeat words when I'm telling rather than showing. So sometimes it helps to lean on the action of the scene. This gets me away from the adjectives or frequent-flyer verbs and gets me closer to writing just enough so that the reader can fill in the blanks.

For example, I could write: The character angrily said "abc-xyz" or I could write: The character rolled their eyes or stomped their foot or pinched the bridge of their nose or slammed their hand down on the desk and said "abc-xyz". That way, I'm trusting that my readers are smart enough to interpret the action as anger.

And one of the greatest bits of writing advice I've received is to always trust that your readers are as smart if not smarter than you. Drop a few action breadcrumbs and they will follow the story just fine! Anyway, I hope this helps.

Good luck and happy writing!


message 6: by Lee (new)

Lee | 13 comments R.J. wrote: "I find that I'm a repeat offender! I often write late at night and I'm so very tired so I will overuse the same words!!!! This is terrible. Anyways, in order to combat this atrocious habit I find I..."

Dictionary.com defines Lour to mean Lower. Further in the description, Glare is listed as a word related to Lour.


message 7: by G.R. (new)

G.R. Paskoff (grpaskoff) | 19 comments Dolores is spot on. You are writing a novel, not a script with stage direction. If you have developed your characters sufficiently, many times you will be able to get the character's mood across without whacking the reader over the head with the physical action.

Use Word to find the number of times you use words like "nodded," "shrugged," "stared," and, yes, "glowered." Look at each instance critically and determine if the offending word/phrase can be removed while still getting your intent across.

And don't worry, we've all been there and still do it, especially in the early drafts! But I wouldn't turn to obscure words because that will just confuse (and likely annoy) the reader.


message 8: by RP (new)

RP | 4 comments R.J. wrote: "I find that I'm a repeat offender! I often write late at night and I'm so very tired so I will overuse the same words!!!! This is terrible. Anyways, in order to combat this atrocious habit I find I..."

I think Delores is right, as long as you give the reader context, the word makes sense regardless of the reader's vocabulary or knowledge of the word.


message 9: by Wmba (new)

Wmba Dams | 49 comments R.J. wrote: "I find that I'm a repeat offender! I often write late at night and I'm so very tired so I will overuse the same words!!!! This is terrible. Anyways, in order to combat this atrocious habit I find I..."




Lour | Definition of Lour by Merriam-Websterwww.merriam-webster.com › dictionary › lour
intransitive verb. 1 : to look sullen : frown. 2 : to be or become dark, gloomy, and threatening an overcast sky lowered over the village.


message 10: by Malina (new)

Malina | 5 comments I read that a lour is a scowl, according to dictionary.com.
It's a very unusual word.
You could also use grimace, glower or scowl.

"The sun might shine, or the clouds might lour; but nothing could appear to me as it had done the day before." -Mary Shelley, Frankenstein.
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/lour


message 11: by Wmba (new)

Wmba Dams | 49 comments R.J. wrote: "I find that I'm a repeat offender! I often write late at night and I'm so very tired so I will overuse the same words!!!! This is terrible. Anyways, in order to combat this atrocious habit I find I..."

Sometimes using the same word again is the best way to be clear.

Using words that are too obscure and send readers to their dictionary is simply bad writing for an audience. It may be good writing if you just want to feel good about yourself.


message 12: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Z | 8 comments She lours, her sympathy gone.

Her eyes narrowed, her lips thinned, her sympathy gone.


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