Being a non-native English speaker belonging to a small village in Kerala, my vocabulary when I started to write was not very vast. But I am a word hunter in love with words. Whenever I visit blogs or read books by native English speakers, I admire their writing skills and vocabulary prowess.
I yearn to acquire their writing skills. I know it is not an easy job.
So, every day I spend time working on my vocabulary and writing skills.
I believe writing is a craft that can be improved only by working on it on a regular basis.
Here is a list of activities I adopted to build my vocabulary.
1) Join a website dedicated to increasing Vocabulary Skills:
My favorite website to study words is Vocabulary.com. You can join the website for free using your Google or Facebook profile. They have word games and lists which help to learn new words. Each list has a set of activities where we can study the various words to understand their meaning and spelling. They give the origin, word meaning through examples and also the nearest synonym. My go to list there is Literature. In this list, the words listed are selected chapters from many famous books.
2) Install a dictionary/thesaurus app on your phone or tablet
Whenever you encounter a new word, instead of guessing the meaning, check the word in your thesaurus app. Most apps save the list of words you search and hence you can revisit these words as and when you wish. The app I use is Merriam-Webster. It has a feature called word of the day which introduces new words to the user daily.
3) Read more every day:
Reading is the easiest way to encounter new words. The more you read, greater your word stock.
4) Write every day:
Note down the words you learn and then use them in your writing until you become familiar with their usage and meaning. Create a word journal and make it visually memorable.
5) Edit your writing
Another easy way to improve your vocabulary is to edit your writing. While you are at it,
- Replace repeated words with their nearest synonym. In the process, you will surely discover newer words to express yourself.
- Find a single word to replace multiple words. This helps to tighten your prose.
Example: to move aimlessly from place to place can be replaced by the word ramble.
How do you improve your vocabulary?
Do tell me in the comments section.
During this A-Z April Challenge, I am exploring the A-Z journey of writing a Novel with examples from Literature.
The Letter of the day is V
Linking this post to Blogging from A-Z