My Sunday Book Review is for Kathy Steinemann’s new release – the third book in this must-have resource guide for all writers – The Writer’s Body Lexicon. I was thrilled to receive an ARC from Kathy to get an early heads up on this extensive list of word and phrase replacement guide for descriptions of all body parts.
Ordinary writers describe the body in order to evoke images in readers’ minds. Extraordinary writers leverage it to add elements such as tension, intrigue, and humor.
The Writer’s Body Lexicon provides tools for both approaches.
Kathy Steinemann provides a boggling number of word choices and phrases for body parts, organized under similar sections in most chapters:
•Emotion Beats and Physical Manifestations
•Similes and Metaphors
•Colors and Variegations
•Verbs and Phrasal Verbs
•Clichés and Idioms
Sprinkled throughout, you’ll also find hundreds of story ideas. They pop up in similes, metaphors, word lists, and other nooks and crannies.
Readers don’t want every character to be a cardboard cutout with a perfect physique. They prefer real bodies with imperfections that drive character actions and reactions — bodies with believable skin, scents, and colors.
For instance, a well-dressed CEO whose infrequent smile exposes poorly maintained teeth might be on the verge of bankruptcy. A gorgeous cougar with decaying teeth, who tells her young admirer she’s rich, could spook her prey. Someone trying to hide a cigarette habit from a spouse might be foiled by nicotine stains.
Add depth to your writing. Rather than just describe the body, exploit it. Build on it. Mold it until it becomes an integral part of your narrative.
“… a timeless resource: You’ll find advice, prompts, ideas, vocabulary, humor, and everything in between. But more importantly, it will make your characters stand out from the crowd.” — Nada Sobhi
My 5 Star Review:
If you thought you knew words, you’re in for a big treat with this almost 500 pages of action-packed book full of alternative words and phrases to make your characters come alive and help readers create believable characters. How many ways can we express body parts, gestures, prompts and humor? Steinemann will arm you better than any thesaurus.
The author expanded her blog post of lessons for writers and created this absolute must-have resource guide, aiding in better descriptive writing in this 3rd and comprehensive book in her Lexicon series for writers. We’ll also find words that keep the action going as well as idea replacements for similes and metaphors that AREN’T cliche, with loads of examples under each body part heading. Steinemann helps writers to choose appropriate adjectives and verb tenses – eg: If you say your character has tanned arms while the setting takes place in winter, you’ve used the wrong adjective unless a reason is presented for the tanned arms. The author demonstrates how to eliminate unnecessary words with suggested word replacement. Plenty of prompts are also given as well as: opinion words explained, hyphen use, how to incorporate color, use of props for description, use of word variation pertaining to the character’s description – example: you may use the word ‘porky’ for a bully, but the word wouldn’t go over well if a husband were to refer to his wife with such word.
This book is a fantastic edition to describe all parts of the body from head to toe, also offering ideas to set up a character chart to list all attributes of characters, ie: shapes, appearance, flesh tone, etc. Each chapter begins with descriptions, examples of word usage. Steinemann also talks about caveats, eg: perception of the writer’s view needs to be made clear for readers. The writer may know what she means to relay being privy to the character’s thoughts, but make sure the reader is informed too.
The Writer’s Body Lexicon is succinctly written into sections for each body part, covering verbs, variegation of color, shapes, idioms, cliches, metaphors, similes, comparisons and more. A must-have resource guide for all writers!