Lightbulb Publishing


August 2016

Power types

Types of power, taken from FYCD

Physical power. Someone with great physical strength. Their power is best demonstrated in a physical fight. They use total dominance and aggressive, scare-tactics to maintain their position. If they lose a fight, they lose their influence of fear…

Intellectual power. Someone with a vast quantity of knowledge. Their power is in the information they have, and how they decide to use or apply it.

Coercive Power. This is power attained through the punishment of those who don’t comply. The power accumulates when others actively try to avoid bringing a punishment upon themselves.

Informational Power. This person knows things the other characters want or need to know. They can exercise their power by purposely withholding information, or only giving it in the way they specifically choose.

Legitimate Power. Someone in a high position, whether it be in government, the military or any standard work place. Their power is in their rank – without their title, they lose everything that comes with it.

Generational Power. This person comes from a long-line of powerful people. All of their power is in their reputation, so they must uphold it if they wish to be respected as their ancestors were. This power can also manifest as a bloodline power or ability.

Expert Power. The best of the best, this person is hailed as the most knowledgeable in a specific field. Therefore, they hold onto power not only through intrigue and recommendation, but by consistently proving they are better than any of the competition.

Ownership Power. This person only has power because they have claimed ownership of everything they command.

Reward Power. Someone who can offer special treatment or material items as a reward for desired behaviour from their subordinates. If they have something that is heavily sought-after, then their power grows all the more.

Referent Power. This person may have very little that entitles them to power, but the way they are received by others demands respect and reverence. In essence, they are worthy of power only if those who ‘worship’ them continue to believe they deserve their admiration.


16 Villain profiles

16 Villain archetypes, taken from FYCD

The TYRANT: the bullying despot, he wants power at any price. He ruthlessly conquers all he surveys, crushing his enemies beneath his feet. People are but pawns to him, and he holds all the power pieces. Hesitate before getting in this man’s way – he’ll think nothing of destroying you.

The BASTARD: the dispossessed son, he burns with resentment. He can’t have what he wants, so he lashes out to hurt those around him. His deeds are often for effect – he wants to provoke action in others. He proudly announces his rebellious dealings. Don’t be fooled by his boyish demeanor – he’s a bundle of hate.

The DEVIL: the charming fiend, he gives people what he thinks they deserve. Charisma allows him to lure his victims to their own destruction. His ability to discover the moral weaknesses in others serves him well. Close your ears to his cajolery – he’ll tempt you to disaster.

The TRAITOR: the double agent, he betrays those who trust him most. No one suspects the evil that lurks in his heart. Despite supportive smiles and sympathetic ears, he plots the destruction of his friends. Never turn your back on him — he means you harm.

The OUTCAST: the lonely outsider, he wants desperately to belong. Tortured and unforgiving, he has been set off from others, and usually for good cause. He craves redemption, but is willing to gain it by sacrificing others. Waste no sympathy on him – he’ll have none for you.

The EVIL GENIUS: the malevolent mastermind, he loves to show off his superior intelligence. Intellectual inferiors are contemptible to him and that includes just about everyone. Elaborate puzzles and experiments are his trademark. Don’t let him pull your strings – the game is always rigged in his favor.

The SADIST: the savage predator, he enjoys cruelty for its own sake. Violence and psychological brutality are games to this man; and he plays those games with daring and skill. Run, don’t walk, away from this man – he’ll tear out your heart, and laugh while doing it.

The TERRORIST: the dark knight, he serves a warped code of honor. Self-righteous, he believes in his own virtue, and judges all around him by a strict set of laws. The end will always justify his nefarious means, and no conventional morality will give him pause. Don’t try to appeal to his sense of justice – his does not resemble yours.

The BITCH: the abusive autocrat, she lies, cheats, and steals her way to the top. Her climb to success has left many a heel mark on the backs of others. She doesn’t care about the peons around her – only the achievement of her dreams matters. Forget expecting a helping hand from her – she doesn’t help anyone but herself.

The BLACK WIDOW: the beguiling siren, she lures victims into her web. She goes after anyone who has something she wants, and she wants a lot. But she does her best to make the victim want to be deceived. An expert at seduction of every variety, she uses her charms to get her way. Don’t be fooled by her claims of love – it’s all a lie.

The BACKSTABBER: the two-faced friend, she delights in duping the unsuspecting. Her sympathetic smiles enable her to learn her victims’ secrets, which she then uses to feather her nest. Her seemingly helpful advice is just the thing to hinder. Put no faith in her – she’ll betray you every time.

The LUNATIC: the unbalanced madwoman, she draws others into her crazy environment. The drum to which she marches misses many a beat, but to her, it is the rest of the world that is out of step. Don’t even try to understand her logic – she is unfathomable.

The PARASITE: the poisonous vine, she collaborates for her own comfort. She goes along with any atrocity, so long as her own security is assured. She sees herself as a victim who had no choice, and blames others for her crimes. Expect no mercy from her – she won’t lift a finger to save anyone but herself.

The SCHEMER: the lethal plotter, she devises the ruin of others. Like a cat with a mouse, she plays with lives. Elaborate plans, intricate schemes; nothing pleases her more than to trap the unwary. Watch out for her complex designs – she means you no good.

The FANATIC: the uncompromising extremist, she does wrong in the name of good. She justifies hers action by her intent, and merely shrugs her shoulders at collateral damage. Anyone not an ally is an enemy, and therefore, fair game. Give up any hope of showing her the error of her ways – she firmly believes you are wrong, wrong, wrong.

The MATRIARCH: the motherly oppressor, she smothers her loved ones. She knows what’s best and will do all in her power to controls the lives of those who surround her – all for their own good. A classic enabler, she sees no fault with her darlings, unless they don’t follow her dictates. Don’t be lured into her family nest – you’ll never get out alive.

Four temperaments

The four temperaments, taken from Wikipedia

Sanguine: The sanguine temperament is fundamentally sociable and pleasure-seeking; sanguine people are impulsive and charismatic. They tend to enjoy social gatherings, making new friends and tend to be boisterous. They are usually quite creative and often daydream. Sanguine personalities generally struggle with following tasks all the way through, are chronically late, and tend to be forgetful and sometimes a little sarcastic. Often, when they pursue a new hobby, they lose interest as soon as it ceases to be engaging or fun. They are very much people persons. They are talkative and not shy. Sanguines generally have an almost shameless nature, certain that what they are doing is right. They have no lack of confidence. Sanguine people are warm-hearted, pleasant, lively and optimistic. They have been called “people-oriented extroverts.”

Choleric: The choleric temperament is fundamentally ambitious and leader-like. They have a lot of aggression, energy, and/or passion, and try to instill that in others. They are task oriented people and are focused on getting a job done efficiently; their motto is usually “do it now.” They can dominate people of other temperaments with their strong wills, especially phlegmatic types, and can become dictatorial or tyrannical. Many great charismatic military and political figures were cholerics. They like to be in charge of everything and are good at planning, as they can often immediately see a practical solution to a problem. However, they can quickly fall into deep depression or moodiness when failures or setbacks befall them. They have been called “task-oriented extroverts.”

Melancholic: The melancholic temperament is fundamentally introverted and is given to thought. Melancholic people are often perceived as very (or overly) pondering and are both considerate and very cautious. Melancholics can be highly creative in activities such as poetry, art, and invention – and are sensitive to others. Because of this sensitivity and their thoughtfulness they can become preoccupied with the tragedy and cruelty in the world and are susceptible to depression and moodiness. Often they are perfectionists. Their desire for perfection often results in a high degree of personal excellence but also causes them to be highly conscientious and difficult to relate to because others often cannot please them. They are self-reliant and independent, preferring to do things themselves to meet their standards. One negative part of being a melancholic is that they can get so involved in what they are doing they forget to think of other issues. Their caution enables them to prevent problems that the more impulsive sanguine runs into, but can also cause them to procrastinate and remain in the planning stage of a project for very long periods. Melancholics prefer to avoid much attention and prefer to remain in the background; they do, however, desire recognition for their many works of creativity. They have been called “task-oriented introverts.”

Phlegmatic: The phlegmatic temperament is fundamentally relaxed and quiet, ranging from warmly attentive to lazily sluggish. Phlegmatics tend to be content with themselves and are kind. Phlegmatics are consistent, they can be relied upon to be steady and faithful friends. They are accepting and affectionate, making friends easily. They tend to be good diplomats because their tendency not to judge and affable nature makes reconciling differing groups easy for them. Phlegmatics prefer to observe and to think on the world around them while not getting involved. They may try to inspire others to do the things which they themselves think about doing. They may be shy and often prefer stability to uncertainty and change. Their fear of change (and of work) can make them susceptible to stagnation or laziness, or even stubbornness. They are consistent, relaxed, calm, rational, curious, and observant, qualities that make them good administrators. They can also be passive-aggressive. They have been called “people-oriented introverts.”

How to say ‘Said’

This is a working resource, taken from WriteWorld

  • A
    • abjured: formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief, usually under pressure.
    • accused: charge (someone) with an offense or crime.
    • acknowledged: accept or admit the existence or truth of; express or display gratitude for or appreciation of.
    • added: say as a further remark; contribute (an enhancing quality).
    • addressed: speak to (a person or an assembly), typically in a formal way; name someone in a specified way when talking or writing; say or write remarks or a protest to (someone).
    • admitted: confess to be true or to be the case, typically with reluctance; acknowledge.
    • admonished: warn or reprimand someone firmly; advise or urge (someone) earnestly.
    • advised: inform (somebody) of something; to counsel, recommend, or suggest.
    • advocated: publicly recommend or support; preach, speak, plead, or argue in favor of.
    • affirmed: state as a fact; assert strongly and publicly; declare one’s support for; uphold or defend; to declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true.
    • agreed: have the same opinion about something; concur; consent to do something that has been suggested by another person.
    • alleged: report or maintain; Claim or assert that someone has done something illegal or wrong, typically without proof that this is the case.
    • allowed: admit the truth of; concede.
    • alluded: suggest or call attention to indirectly; hint at; mention without discussing at length.
    • amended: correct a previous statement; to set right.
    • announced: make a public and typically formal declaration about a fact, occurrence, or intention.
    • answered: say or write something to deal with or as a reaction to someone or something.
    • apologized: express regret for something that one has done wrong.
    • appealed: make a serious or urgent request, typically to the public; challenge; request for a change in a decision.
    • appeased: pacify or placate (someone) by acceding to their demands.
    • approved: officially agree to or accept as satisfactory.
    • argued: give reasons or cite evidence in support of an idea, action, or theory, typically with the aim of persuading others to share one’s view; exchange or express diverging or opposite views, typically in a heated or angry way.
    • articulated: expressed; put into words; speak aloud.
    • ascribed: attribute something to (a cause); regard one thing as connected to another.
    • asked: say something in order to obtain an answer or some information.
    • assented: to agree or express agreement.
    • asserted: state a fact or belief confidently and forcefully.
    • asseverated: state categorically; to declare earnestly, seriously, or positively; to affirm.
    • assumed: take to be the case or to be true; accept without verification or proof; to express a belief of thought which is falsely adopted.
    • assured: tell someone something positively or confidently to dispel any doubts they may have.
    • attacked: criticize or oppose fiercely and publicly.
    • attested: declare that something exists or is the case.
    • averted: to turn aside or away; dismiss an action or comment in favor of one’s own beliefs; avoid.
    • avouched: affirm or assert; avowal: a statement asserting the existence or the truth of something.
    • avowed: assert or confess openly; to declare or affirm solemnly and formally as true; admit openly and bluntly; make no bones about.
  • B
    • babbled: talk rapidly and continuously in a foolish, excited, or incomprehensible way; utter something rapidly and incoherently; reveal something secret or confidential by talking impulsively or carelessly
    • baited: deliberately annoy or taunt
    • bantered: talk or exchange remarks in a good-humored teasing way
    • bargained: negotiate the terms and conditions of a transaction
    • barked: make a sound, such as a cough or a laugh, resembling a bark
    • bawled: shout or call out noisily and unrestrainedly
    • began: start speaking by saying
    • begged: ask (someone) earnestly or humbly for something; ask formally for (permission to do something)
    • bellowed: shout something with a deep loud roar
    • bellyached: complain noisily or persistently
    • bemoaned: express discontent or sorrow over (something)
    • berated: scold or criticize (someone) angrily
    • beseeched: ask (someone) urgently and fervently to do something; implore; entreat
    • besought: ask (someone) urgently and fervently to do something; implore; entreat
    • bewailed: express great regret, disappointment, or bitterness over (something) by complaining about it to others
    • bitched: informal. express displeasure; grumble
    • blabbed: reveal secrets by indiscreet talk
    • bleated: speak or complain in a weak, querulous, or foolish way
    • blew up: lose one’s temper
    • blubbered: sob noisily and uncontrollably
    • blurted: say (something) suddenly and without careful consideration
    • blustered: talk in a loud, aggressive, or indignant way with little effect
    • boasted: talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one’s achievements, possessions, or abilities
    • boomed: say in a loud, deep, resonant voice
    • bragged: say in a boastful manner
    • breathed: uttered without voice
    • broke in: to interrupt a conversation or discussion
  • C
    • cackled: make a harsh sound resembling such a cry when laughing
    • cajoled: persuade someone to do something by sustained coaxing or flattery
    • called: cry out to (someone) in order to summon them or attract their attention
    • caroled: sing or say (something) happily
    • carped: complain or find fault continually, typically about trivial matters
    • caterwauled: make a shrill howling or wailing noise
    • cautioned: say something as a warning; warn or advise again (doing something)
    • cavilled: make petty or unnecessary objections
    • challenged: take exception to; ask for identification; questioning a statement and demanding an explanation
    • chanted: say or shout repeatedly in a sing-song tone
    • charged: formally accuse
    • chastised: rebuke or reprimand severely
    • chatted: talk in a friendly and informal way
    • chattered: talk rapidly or incessantly about trivial matters
    • cheered: shout for joy or in praise or encouragement; praise or encourage with shout; give comfort or support to
    • chided: scold or rebuke
    • chipped in: interrupt with comments; interject
    • chirped: utter a short, sharp, high-pitched sound; say something in a lively and cheerful way
    • choked: inability to speak or trouble speaking because of strong emotion; hold back or suppress speech; speak with difficulty
    • chortled: laugh in a breathy, gleeful way; chuckle
    • chuckled: laugh quietly or inwardly
    • cited: mention as an example; quote as evidence for or justification of an argument or statement
    • claimed: state or assert that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof; assert that one has gained or achieved (something); formally request or demand
    • clamored: shout loudly and insistently; make a vehement protest or demand
    • clarified: make (a statement or situation) less confused and more clearly comprehensible
    • clucked: make such a sound with (one’s tongue) to express concern or disapproval; express fussy concern about
    • coaxed: persuade (someone) gradually or by flattery to do something; manipulate (something) carefully into a particular shape or position
    • comforted: soothe in grief; console
    • commanded: give an authoritative order
    • commented: express (an opinion or reaction)
    • communicated: share or exchange information, news, or ideas
    • complained: express dissatisfaction or annoyance about a state of affairs or an event
    • conceded: admit that something is true or valid after first denying or resisting it
    • concluded: say in conclusion; decide to do something
    • concurred: be of the same opinion; agree
    • confessed: admit or state that one has committed a crime or is at fault in some way
    • confided: tell someone about a secret or private matter while trusting them not to repeat it to others
    • confirmed: establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts
    • confuted: prove (a person or an assertion) to be wrong; disapprove
    • consented: give permission for something to happen; agree to do something
    • consoled: comfort (someone) at a time of grief or disappointment
    • contended: assert something as a position in an argument
    • contested: oppose (an action, decision, or theory) as mistaken or wrong
    • continued: carry on speaking after a pause or interruption
    • contradicted: deny the truth of (a statement), esp. by asserting the opposite
    • contravened: conflict with (a right, principle, etc.), esp. to its detriment; dispute
    • contributed: give one’s views in a discussion
    • cooed: make a soft murmuring sound; speak in a soft gentle voice, typically to express affection
    • coughed: say something in a harsh, abrupt way
    • counseled: give advice to (someone); recommend
    • countered: speak or act in opposition to; respond to hostile speech or action
    • cried: shout or scream, esp. to express one’s fear, pain, or grief; say something in an excited or anguished tone of voice
    • criticized: indicate the faults of (someone or something) in a disapproving way
    • croaked: make a characteristic deep hoarse sound when speaking or laughing
    • crooned: say in a soft, low voice
    • cross-examined: question (someone) aggressively or in great detail
    • crowed: say something in a tone of gloating satisfaction
    • cursed: used to express annoyance or irritation
    • cussed: curse: profane or obscene expression usually of surprise or anger
    • cut across: be contrary to ordinary procedure or limitations
    • cut in: chime in: break into a conversation
  • D
    • debated: argue about (a subject), esp. in a formal manner.
    • decided: come to a resolution in the mind as a result of consideration.
    • declared: say something in a solemn and emphatic manner.
    • declined: politely refuse (an invitation or offer).
    • decreed: order (something) by decree (legal authority).
    • defended: resist an attack (verbal, in this case) made on (someone or something).
    • delivered: state in a formal manner.
    • demanded: ask authoritatively or brusquely.
    • demurred: raise doubts or objections or show reluctance.
    • denied: refuse to give or grant (something requested or desired) to (someone); state that one refuses to admit the truth or existence of.
    • denounced: publicly declare to be wrong or evil.
    • deplored: feel or express strong disapproval of (something).
    • described: give an account in words of (someone or something), including all the relevant characteristics, qualities, or events.
    • determined: ascertain or establish exactly, typically as a result of research or calculation.
    • dictated: say or read aloud (words to be typed, written down, or recorded on tape).
    • directed: control the operations of; manage or govern.
    • disagreed: have or express a different opinion.
    • disclaimed: refuse to acknowledge; deny.
    • disclosed: make (secret or new information) known.
    • discussed: talk about (something) with another person or group of people.
    • dissented: hold or express opinions that are at variance with those previously, commonly, or officially expressed.
    • divulged: make known (private or sensitive information).
    • drawled: speak in a slow, lazy way with prolonged vowel sounds.
    • droned: make a continuous low humming sound; speak in monotone.
  • E
    • echoed: (of a sound) be repeated or reverberate after the original sound has stopped; repeat.
    • elaborated: develop or present (a theory, policy, or system) in detail.
    • emphasized: give special importance or prominence to (something) in speaking or writing.
    • enjoined: instruct or urge (someone) to do something.
    • entreated: ask someone earnestly or anxiously to do something.
    • enumerated: mention (a number of things) one by one.
    • enunciated: say or pronounce clearly.
    • equivocated: use ambiguous language so as to conceal the truth or avoid committing oneself.
    • estimated: roughly calculate or judge the value, number, quantity, or extent of.
    • exaggerated: represent (something) as being larger, greater, better, or worse than it really is.
    • exclaimed: cry out suddenly, esp. in surprise, anger, or pain.
    • exhorted: strongly encourage or urge (someone) to do something.
    • expatiated: speak or write at length or in detail.
    • explained: make (an idea, situation, or problem) clear to someone by describing it in more detail or revealing relevant facts or ideas.
    • exploded: speak in a loud, violent burst of noise.
    • expostulated: express strong disapproval or disagreement.
    • expounded: present and explain (a theory or idea) systematically and in detail.
    • expressed: convey (a thought or feeling) in words or by gestures and conduct.
    • extolled: praise enthusiastically.
  • F
    • faltered: speak in a hesitant or unsteady voice
    • fibbed: tell such a lie
    • foreswore: agree to give up or do without (something); swear falsely; commit perjury
    • foretold: predict (the future or a future event)
    • fretted: be constantly or visibly worried or anxious
    • fumed: feel, show, or express great anger
    • fussed: complain; worry
  • G
    • gabbed: talk, typically at length, about trivial matters.
    • gabbled: talk rapidly and unintelligibly; utter meaningless sounds.
    • gagged: choke or retch.
    • gainsaid: deny or contradict (a fact or statement).
    • gasped: inhale suddenly with the mouth open, out of pain or astonishment (typically used for single words or very short phrases).
    • giggled: laugh lightly in a nervous, affected, or silly manner.
    • gossiped: engage in casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.
    • granted: admit something is true (used to introduce a factor that is opposed to the main line of argument but is not regarded as so strong as to invalidate it).
    • greeted: give a polite word or sign of welcome or recognition to (someone) on meeting.
    • griped: express a complaint or grumble about something, esp. something trivial.
    • groaned: make a deep inarticulate sound in response to pain or despair; complain.
    • groused: complain pettily; grumble.
    • growled: (of an animal, esp. a dog) make a low guttural sound of hostility in the throat.
    • grumbled: complain or protest about something in a bad-tempered but typically muted way.
    • grunted: (of an animal, esp. a pig) make a low, short guttural sound (usually of assent or pain) (typically used for single words or very short phrases).
    • guaranteed: provide a formal assurance or promise, esp. that certain conditions shall be fulfilled relating to a product, service, or transaction.
    • guessed: estimate or suppose (something) without sufficient information to be sure of being correct.
    • guffawed: laugh in a loud or boisterous way.
    • gurgled: make a hollow bubbling sound; speak indistinctly or with difficulty owing to water.
    • gushed: speak or write with effusiveness or exaggerated enthusiasm.
  • H
    • haggled: dispute or bargain persistently, esp. over the cost of something.
    • harped: talk or write persistently and tediously on a particular topic.
    • hastened to add: quickly say as a further remark; contribute (an enhancing quality).
    • hastened to say: quickly utter words so as to convey information, an opinion, a feeling or intention, or an instruction.
    • hedged: limit or qualify (something) by conditions or exceptions.
    • hemmed: skirt around a topic; avoid answering directly
    • hemmed and hawed: be evasive; to say “ah” and “eh” when speaking—avoiding saying something meaningful.
    • hinted: suggest or indicate something indirectly or covertly.
    • hissed: make a sharp sibilant sound as of the letter s; speak while overannuciating the letter s.
    • hollered: (of a person) give a loud shout or cry.
    • hooted: (of an owl) utter a hoot; speak while overannuciating the letter o.
    • howled: a long, loud, doleful cry uttered by an animal such as a dog or wolf.
    • huffed: blow out loudly; puff; speak in a fit of petty annoyance.
  • I
    • imitated: take or follow as a model; copy (someone’s or something’s behavior, sound, appearance, etc.)
    • imparted: make (information) known; communicate.
    • implied: suggested but not directly expressed; implicit.
    • implored: beg someone earnestly or desperately to do something
    • imported(archaic) indicate or signify.
    • impugned: dispute the truth, validity, or honesty of (a statement or motive); call into question.
    • indicated: point out; show; suggest as a desirable or necessary course of action.
    • inferred: deduce or conclude (information) from evidence and reasoning rather than from explicit statements.
    • informed: give (someone) facts or information; tell.
    • inquired: ask for information from someone.
    • insinuated: suggest or hint (something bad or reprehensible) in an indirect and unpleasant way.
    • insisted: demand something forcefully, not accepting refusal.
    • instructed: direct or command someone to do something, esp. as an official order.
    • insulted: speak to or treat with disrespect or scornful abuse.
    • interjected: say (something) abruptly, esp. as an aside or interruption.
    • interpreted: explain the meaning of (information, words, or actions).
    • interrogated: ask questions of (someone, esp. a suspect or a prisoner) closely, aggressively, or formally.
    • interrupted: stop (a person) in the midst of doing or saying something, especially by an interjected remark.
    • intimated: imply or hint.
    • intoned: say or recite with little rise and fall of the pitch of the voice.
    • introduced: make (someone) known by name to another in person, esp. formally.
  • J
    • jabbered: talk rapidly and excitedly but with little sense
    • jeered: make rude and mocking remarks, typically in a loud voice
    • jested: speak or act in a joking manner
    • joked: poke fun at; talk humorously or flippantly
    • joshed: tease (someone) in a playful way
    • judged: form an opinion or conclusion about
  • L
    • lamented: vocally expressing grief or sorrow or resembling such expression
    • laughed: make the spontaneous sounds and movements of the face and body that are the instinctive expressions of lively amusement and sometimes also of contempt or derision
    • lectured: talk seriously or reprovingly to (someone)
    • lied: tell a lie or lies
    • lisped: speak with a lisp
    • listed: the act of making a list of items
  • M
    • made known: announce some information generally; to disclose a secret
    • maintained: give one’s support to; uphold
    • marveled: speak as though filled with wonder or astonishment
    • mentioned: refer to something briefly and without going into detail
    • mimicked: imitate (someone or their actions or words), typically in order to entertain or ridicule
    • moaned: lament; complain or grumble, typically about something trivial; make a long, low sound expressing physical or mental suffering or sexual pleasure
    • mocked: tease or laugh at in a scornful or contemptuous manner
    • mouthed: say (something dull or unoriginal), esp. in a pompous or affected way
    • mumbled: say something indistinctly and quietly, making it difficult for others to hear
    • murmured: say something in a low, soft, or indistinct voice; say something cautiously and discreetly
    • mused: say to oneself in a thoughtful manner
    • muttered: say something in a low or barely audible voice, esp. in dissatisfaction or irritation; speak privately or unofficially about someone or something; spread rumors
  • N
    • nagged: annoy or irritate (a person) with persistent fault-finding or continuous urging
    • narrated: give a spoken or written account of
    • nodded: lower and raise one’s head slightly and briefly, esp. in greeting, assent, or understanding, or to give someone a signal
    • noted: noticed
    • notified: inform (someone) of something, typically in a formal or official manner
  • O
    • objected: say something to express one’s disapproval of or disagreement with something
    • observed: make a remark or comment
    • offered: present or proffer (something) for (someone) to accept or reject as so desired; express readiness or the intention to do something for or on behalf of someone
    • opposed: eager to prevent or put an end to; disapproving of or disagreeing with
    • orated: make a speech, esp. pompously or at length
    • ordered: give an authoritative direction or instruction to do something; command
  • P
    • panted:
    • peeped:
    • perceived:
    • persisted:
    • persuaded:
    • pestered:
    • petitioned:
    • piped up:
    • pleaded:
    • pledged:
    • pointed out:
    • pondered:
    • posed:
    • pouted:
    • praised:
    • prattled on:
    • prayed:
    • preached:
    • predicted:
    • pressed:
    • prevaricated:
    • pried:
    • proceeded:
    • proclaimed:
    • prodded:
    • profaned:
    • professed:
    • promised:
    • prompted:
    • pronounced:
    • prophesied:
    • proposed:
    • protested:
    • purred:
  • Q
    • quacked: talk loudly and foolishly
    • quarreled: have an angry argument or disagreement
    • quavered: (of a person’s voice) shake or tremble in speaking, typically through nervousness or emotion
    • queried: ask a question about something, esp. in order to express one’s doubts about it or to check its validity or accuracy
    • questioned: ask questions of (someone), esp. in an official context
    • quibbled: argue or raise objections about a trivial matter
    • quipped: make a witty remark
    • quoted: repeat a passage from (a work or author) or statement by (someone)
  • R
    • raged:
    • railed:
    • rambled:
    • ranted:
    • rapped:
    • rattled off:
    • raved:
    • read:
    • reasoned:
    • rebuffed:
    • recalled:
    • recanted:
    • recited:
    • reckoned:
    • recommended:
    • reconciled:
    • recorded:
    • recounted:
    • recriminated:
    • referred:
    • refused:
    • refuted:
    • reiterated:
    • related:
    • remarked:
    • remonstrated:
    • reneged:
    • renounced:
    • repeated:
    • repined:
    • replied:
    • reported:
    • reputed:
    • requested:
    • responded:
    • restated:
    • retorted:
    • retracted:
    • roared:
  • S
    • said: utter words so as to convey information, an opinion, a feeling or intention, or an instruction.
    • sang:
    • scoffed:
    • scolded:
    • screamed:
    • screeched:
    • shouted:
    • shrieked:
    • sighed:
    • slurred:
    • snapped:
    • snarled:
    • sneered:
    • snickered:
    • sniggered:
    • snipped:
    • sniveled:
    • sobbed:
    • sounded:
    • spat:
    • spouted:
    • sputtered:
    • squawked:
    • squeaked:
    • stammered:
    • stated:
    • suggested:
    • swore:
  • T
    • taunted: provoke or challenge (someone) with insulting remarks
    • teased: make fun of or attempt to provoke (a person or animal) in a playful way; tempt
    • thanked: express gratitude to (someone), esp. by saying “Thank you”
    • thought aloud: speak one’s thoughts audibly
    • told: communicate information, facts, or news to someone in spoken or written words; order, instruct, or advise (someone) to do something
    • trumpeted: proclaim widely or loudly
    • tutted: utter `tsk,’ `tut,’ or `tut-tut,’ as in disapproval
    • twanged: make or cause to make such a sound
    • twittered: talk in a light, high-pitched voice; talk rapidly and at length in an idle or trivial way
  • U
    • urged: try earnestly or persistently to persuade (someone) to do something
    • uttered: say (something) aloud
  • V
    • validated: make or declare legally valid
    • ventured: dare to do or say something that may be considered audacious (often used as a polite expression of hesitation or apology)
    • verbalized: express (ideas or feelings) in words, esp. by speaking out loud
    • verified: make sure or demonstrate that (something) is true, accurate, or justified
    • vocalized: utter (a sound or word); express with words
    • voiced: express (something) in words
    • vowed: solemnly promise to do a specified thing
  • W
    • wailed: give such a cry of pain, grief, or anger
    • warbled: sing in a trilling or quavering voice
    • warned: give someone forceful or cautionary advice about their actions or conduct; inform someone in advance of an impending or possible danger, problem, or other unpleasant situation
    • whimpered: say something in a low, feeble voice expressive of such emotions; make a series of low, feeble sounds expressive of fear, pain, or discontent
    • whined: give or make a long, high-pitched complaining cry or sound; complain in a feeble or petulant way
    • whispered: speak very softly using one’s breath without one’s vocal cords, esp. for the sake of privacy
    • whooped: give or make a whoop
    • winked: close and open one eye quickly, typically to indicate that something is a joke or a secret or as a signal of affection or greeting
    • withdrew: take back or away (something bestowed, proposed, or used)
  • Y
    • yakked: talk at length about trivial or boring subjects
    • yammered: talk volubly
    • yapped: talk at length in an irritating manner
    • yawpedslang. to talk noisily and foolishly or complainingly
    • yelled: give a loud, sharp cry; shouted
    • yowled: make such a cry

About me

A little bit more about me? Why not. I am a Commissioning Editor in Academic Publishing, formerly working in development etc etc. I have travelled across trade and academic publishing, working in journalism and editorial for many years. Alongside this I have written fiction and children’s stories in my spare time. This blog is to put fingertips to keys in order to disseminate the processes of how I do my daily dos. It is an outlet for my both creative need to write and to curate my knowledge, such as it is, of the publishing world.  If you have any specific questions for me, please do send me a message as I’m always happy to help.


The five senses



The five senses and why they’re important. As someone who has been writing for over fifteen years even now I still have to remind myself to go back into a piece of writing and add in a sense I’ve missed off. When developing characters and the story itself the five senses shouldn’t be ignored. This isn’t to say you need to describe every one in every new situation or for every character. Pick your senses and add them in where it counts, like character descriptions (I’ll do in another post). It’s important not to overload the reader and to give them the opportunity to fill in the gaps with their own imagination. What does a bunch of snufflous mushroom smell like? A wet foot. Someone is chopping onions, which brings about a stinging of the eyes. Here there is no need for a smell descriptor, or the texture of the onion as your audience already knows what they are. Weaving these senses in and out of your writing is an art form, lets briefly go over what each one can cover:

Sight: What the character sees and how they interpret it. You as the author know that there is a grand castle down the road, over the hill and through a densely wooded forest but your character may not and they definitely can’t see it from where they’re standing.

Smell: This is the simplest of the senses and my favorite because you can have a lot of fun with it. Get creative with your smells, everyone receives a smell differently and one persons lily is another persons bad apple. Think what makes sense for the character- how do you want their personality to develop? Are they quirky or rebellious, disillusioned perhaps? Is your character a straight line business man who enjoys the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans in the morning?

Touch: The way things feel, a smooth metal banister, a soft and warm freshly baked brownie. Someone falls to the ground and grazes their hands on the tarmac, the texture like sandpaper. The way things feel to the character comes through touch, as well as how they interact with those things according to how they feel. Your character may run to get the kettle off of the hob but then jumps back because it’s scalding hot, touch adds depth to all of these interactions.

Taste: What is your characters palate? Does it change over time? Were they forced to eat raw beetroots as a child and so can tolerate the undertones of dirt and the bitter aftertaste now?

Sound: Is it a big sound or a small sound? does it reverberate? How does it affect the scene/characters around your protagonist? Sound can be used to change the tempo of the story and can inflict all kinds of emotions from fear ‘the sound of something discerningly dead could be heard crawling towards them’ to happiness ‘her tinkling laughter could be heard wherever she went’.

Having read the above you may have noticed two types of descriptions, the obvious and the stealthy. Adding senses in a way that doesn’t expose them makes for better writing and allows your descriptions to flow. That’s not to say they aren’t tools to be used for highlighting a sense as well, i.e consider this sentence ‘the overpowering smell of stagnant sewage water made him double over and vomit out his insides several times’. The focus here is the smell, lets see that again in stealth mode ‘He approached the entrance to the sewer, which wreaked of stagnant waste’ one can imagine that smelt bad but not so bad that it became the focus of the scene.

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