Thursday, August 13, 2009

How should I improve my descriptive vocabulary?

Ok, I'm trying to improve my DMing. I want to be able to come up with descriptive words at the right time that convey the right feelings for the areas my players are in. In an effort to add these words to my vocabulary I have spent some time searching for words, hopefully in list format so that I have many to choose from. I am not sure what words I will need though, I have started with a couple and have provided those below, but what other words should I find synonyms for? Where do other DMs find their words and inspiration?

For instance, I know there's a number of words for a mausoleum:
boneyardcharnelcharnel house
churchyardcity of the deadcrypt
marbleownmemorial parkmortuary
potter's fieldresting placesepulcher
tombvaultfunerary grounds
God's Acreboot hillcatacomb

I have looked up words for castle but what else should I be looking for?


  1. A thesaurus is your friend.

    One of my biggest pet peeves is reusing the same word in two consequtive sentences. The only way to improve your descriptive vocabulary is to pull up a thesaurus while writing, and conciously try to stamp out repetition.

  2. I agree with you here, also I would like to make a setting more interesting so part of this is description, the other is naming.

    The graveyard of Sorrows
    Sepulcher of Sorrows

    Which sounds more impressive, which will stick with you, which will make the setting more alive.

    In describing the world to my players I would prefer not having to stop and look up a word in the thesaurus. I'd prefer to have already seen the word and hopefully have it in my vocabulary when it is needed.

  3. The number of words for a mausoleum you in your post is really informative.


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