|Cartoon by Dave Walker. at We Blog Cartoons.|
Sometimes I find myself disagreeing, even with someone as talented as Stephen King. His books are wonderful and I learned so much from his On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, but when I he said: "Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule", I had to shake my head. It's not like that for me at all.
I understand where he's coming from. The thesaurus is often consulted to find a 'better word' for a variety of reasons - more unique, more formal, more literary - and invariably a word chosen on such basis will ruin any sentence it is placed in.
But there are exceptions. There are are different ways to use a thesaurus. I open the thesaurus when the word I have in my head doesn't feel right - it doesn't match the feeling I have in my heart. I am rarely looking for a replacement word - I am looking for a different word that may set me thinking in a different direction. A word may lead to an image, almost never to a direct insertion.
Well, that's the way it works for me.