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46 votes
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How do I say that someone is black?

Describe them. There's nothing wrong with mentioning that he is black. However, in that segment, you're missing an opportunity to actually describe them, which will both make for a more interesting ...
user49466's user avatar
  • 1,554
36 votes

How do I say that someone is black?

A few points, in no particular order: "A black man" paints a very different picture from "an elderly black gentleman" or "a tall, black-skinned young man". In the first case, the skin colour is the ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
26 votes

How to expand my vocabulary?

Read, read, read, read. The only way to learn words is to ingest them, to feed on them. The only place where to look is books. Read a lot of different authors, styles, genres, ages. The more words ...
FraEnrico's user avatar
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25 votes

How do I say that someone is black?

Just say he is an elderly black man! Since the skin covers most of the body, it would be the first thing the narrator notices about them, especially if they consider the fact worthy of remark (e.g. ...
komodosp's user avatar
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22 votes

How do I incorporate Vocabulary in my writing that I already know?

The Carnegie Hall method: Practice, practice, practice. You know those Word-A-Day calendars? We joke about them, but they're not bad as a starting point. Each day you pick a word you want to start ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
22 votes

What are the words that were used during Shakespeare's time that are seldom used nowadays?

Here are Shakespeare's sonnets in a text file from Guttenberg.org http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1041/1041.txt Open the file in a text editor and strip away the metadata and footnotes. These are ...
wetcircuit's user avatar
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18 votes

Using profanity

I think the answer to your question lies in the very problem you're having. You say you've created a character whose language is so clean it's almost comical, and you yourself feel awkward when you ...
GGx's user avatar
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17 votes
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How to use word frequency data?

How to evaluate repeat words: 1. Not all frequencies are created equal. a, an, the, he said, she said etc ... <- These are fine. They are considered invisible. You can prune them out if you like, ...
SFWriter's user avatar
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15 votes

How do I say that someone is black?

It might be more strange if your character instinctively knows the man is Kenyan without knowing who he is. Perhaps he is wearing a small pin in the shape of the Kenyan flag or talking about Kenya’s ...
Rasdashan's user avatar
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13 votes

What are the words that were used during Shakespeare's time that are seldom used nowadays?

A concordance lists every word used in a work (or across a series of works) alphabetically, so the link Concordance of Shakespeare's complete works from OpenSourceShakespeare will be helpful. Clicking ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 4,073
11 votes

What's the literary term for saying you "see fireworks" when there are no fireworks?

This is called a metaphorical phrase. It is not a simile; because similes are basically comparing "similar" things. For example, "it was like watching fireworks", or "it was ...
Amadeus's user avatar
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10 votes

How to expand my vocabulary?

Also, write, write, write. As you write a new word in appropriate context, you are putting it into your working vocabulary. Don't discount a thesaurus. There are some online. You have ideas, ...
SFWriter's user avatar
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10 votes

How to use word frequency data?

You have an excellent answer from @DPT for what to do with the results. Just a few tips that are Scrivener specific: In the Word Frequency window, you can click on Count to sort them into numerical ...
GGx's user avatar
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10 votes

How do I say that someone is black?

There is nothing wrong with being black, and there is nothing wrong with saying that someone is black. If your character walks to a bench with an eldery black man sitting on it, write that your ...
kajacx's user avatar
  • 239
10 votes

How do I say that someone is black?

What race were the women and the girl? Why didn't you mention that? Your problem isn't that you're using the term "black." Your problem is that you assume white is the default.
user37184's user avatar
  • 101
9 votes

How do I incorporate Vocabulary in my writing that I already know?

I recommend three pillars: 1. Practice 2. Thesaurus 3. Drafting The more you write, the better your writing will become. This means finding the best word, and the best order to put the words in. ...
SnootyShrimp's user avatar
  • 3,557
9 votes

Using profanity

How can I write this kind of language, that I do not talk, not even as part of my internal monologue? This is either a problem or a blessing. If you, like your character, do not use it on a daily ...
Fayth85's user avatar
  • 5,421
8 votes

How do I say that someone is black?

A common failure in writing I notice is the over- and under-detailing of people, places, things, and events. If your character is in a high-stress action-scene situation where every second counts, ...
Sora Tamashii's user avatar
8 votes

How to stop writing from deteriorating mid-writing?

Sounds like you're mind is writing faster than your hand, which gets frustrating sometimes. There are a few things to try to help stop this. Take breaks. Whenever you see yourself deteriorating, stop, ...
Ceramicmrno0b's user avatar
7 votes

How do I incorporate Vocabulary in my writing that I already know?

I'm going to try the practice-practice-practice answer, but what has been helping me up until now is editing. Go ahead and write the first draft with whatever words come to mind. Don't let searching ...
Adrian McCarthy's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

What are the words that were used during Shakespeare's time that are seldom used nowadays?

After you're done reading the sonnets, you can check your newly learned words against this reference of Common Words & Phrases in Shakespeare's World: https://learn.lexiconic.net/shakewords.htm ...
NofP's user avatar
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7 votes

Should my character speak like an layman or a Latin teacher?

In the scenario you've given, only a pedantic character would use Latin. Ordinary people such as medical staff and doctors would say "statuses" or refer to the patients' "medical state" and "health ...
rolfedh's user avatar
  • 1,915
7 votes

Should my character speak like an layman or a Latin teacher?

The Latin plural of status is statūs. See "Second etymology" here. A real Latin teacher would not stick Latin words into English, and so would say "statuses." If you want your character to be an ...
Joshua Fox's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Best way to handle foreign language words and pronunciation guidelines when editing an autobiography written in English?

Me, I'd write “Hey, Mosha,” my activist grandson Sammy called out, as he looked up after reading just a few of the 700 handwritten pages of my autobiography. “What were you thinking? You gotta refer ...
High Performance Mark's user avatar
6 votes

How many different words are in the average novel?

I pieced the below data together from a number different websites. Basically putting the text versions of the three titles shown, individually into a site that can quickly filter out the unique words. ...
Author104's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

What are some tools for expanding your vocabulary?

Read. Read. Read. When you are reading something (fiction, non-fiction, periodicals, blogs, instant messages from your friends, bulletin boards in public places, the menu in the café or restaurant), ...
Double U's user avatar
  • 2,512
6 votes

What are the words that were used during Shakespeare's time that are seldom used nowadays?

For a discussion on outdated words that once had a rather more complex usage in "Back in the Day" times, check out TVTrope's article "Get Thee to a Nunnery" which has a whole ...
hszmv's user avatar
  • 13.5k
5 votes

How to expand my vocabulary?

You didn't mention what you wanted to write. Do you want to write a novel? Is it fiction, sci-fi, horror, comedy, satire? Do you want to write a poem? Is it a sonnet, an ode, a haiku? Is it ...
John Doe's user avatar
  • 832
5 votes
Accepted

How can you identify head-to-dictionary words?

I found a website that features both a readability analyzer and, perhaps more helpful to you in this case, a difficult & extraneous word finder. The former analyses and estimates the general '...
robertcday's user avatar
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