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The other day I was writing the scene in my latest Work in Progress, and I noted that I tend to use some words or phrases quite a bit. In a conversation, people nod, shake their head, shrug, and so on. And as this is the first draft, it is quite normal to fall into using these words or phrases. But I was thinking rather than wait until my next round of editing, what words or actions could I use instead?

Well, a quick search on the internet led me to this blog post of 100+ Ways to say Shrug by Kathy Steinemann.

Here are the first lines of her post:

“Perhaps you rely on shrugs as action beats to differentiate between speakers in dialogue; or maybe you’re on an early draft, and you write the first thing that comes to mind.”

Eureka! She hit the nail on the head. This was just my problem. I quickly read her post where she gave easy explanations and plenty of examples.

Looking through the titles of other posts, I saw many that were interesting. Here are some posts I thought could help any writer:

100+ Ways to say Shrug –

200 Ways to say Shake the Head –  (which in some societies is a positive thing rather than a negative)

200+ Alternatives for Wide Eyes –

And it isn’t just phases such of these…here are some posts on verbs or adjectives.

350+ Ways to Replace the verb “Take” –

500+ Ways to Replace the verb “Make” –

200+ Ways to say Embarrassed –

150+ Ways to say Confused –

150+ Ways to say Overwhelmed –

150+ Ways to say Disappointed –

200+ Ways to say Excited –

And if you peruse her site, you might find even more helpful blog posts. I know I’ll be returning to read some of these…after – or maybe while – I work on finishing my first draft.

WASTELAKAPI… Beloved, a Guest Post by Mark Wildyr
Em Petrova – Confident in Chaps

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