Furry Writers' Guild Forum

The Thesauri, They Do NOTHING

Okay my fellow writers, I need your help somethin’ fierce. I want a GOOD online thesaurus. All the popular ones are hopelessly tiny and rigid. I need thesauri that err on the side of too many options, rather than getting yet another one with a measly 15 synonyms. I will happily dive into 100+ synonym entries to get the perfect one; I get the itch of half-remembered words that would fit perfectly, and it won’t go away until I nail it exactly. Without acing the word-memory, I literally can’t write another sentence for hours as I scrabble to find THAT ONE WORD with all its perfect harmonious connotations and overtones.

I’m aware of how princess-and-the-pea this sounds but I cannot overstate how much of a trouble this is for me. I need about an hour of wasted effort to “warm up” each time I write, so hitting these verbal potholes costs me an hour plus search time. Currently the best I’ve found is http://thesaurus.babylon.com/constellation but you have to literally type in the word in your url, no internal links, so it’s a pain and I want to see if there are better options.

Does anyone have a thesaurus they swear by? Or an excessively voluminous one they hate that might have some use if tossed at me? My gratitude can be measured in baked goods.

I don’t really use online ones, but if you don’t mind dead trees, I can recommend The Synonym Finder just for ease of use (even though it’s slightly dated):

Back when I was a young man and everything was printed on paper, a truckload of thesauruses turned over on Second Street not far from my house. Witnesses were shocked, amazed, awed, surprised, startled…

Sorry, I can’t help solve your actual problem. But that’s an old fave of mine, and I hope it at least made you smile.

Admittedly I’d love to avoid using dead-tree editions if possible, but I think your plan is the best if there’s no dice to that. Thanks!

A bit of an old thread here, but two things come to mind for me:

  1. Thesaurus.com is the one i use, it’s got a fairly wide selection of options, and can be navigated with a fair amount of ease

  2. Ignore the potholes and just keep going anyway - mark the position in some way, with a (*) or AARGH! or wharrgarbl (my personal favourite), and return to it some time when you have had time to put your idea down and need a break anyway, or next you have a bit of research time allotted, or (insert your own choice of sensible time to go back and fix stuff).

Hope it’s in any way helpful - i know well enough from myself that option two is sometimes not easy (we all like to get /just/ the right word), but it’s a good thing to train yourself to do. The story is the important one, and if that special word is needed to help your story flow better, the empty space will be able to wait for you to fill it when you have the time to go searching for it :slight_smile: