Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Plethora of Ideas…?

January 7, 2013

Firstly I will introduce you all to the word for todayPLETHORA – Definition: 1) an excess, over abundance 2) a bodily condition characterized by an excess of blood circulation, swelling, and a reddish complexion. It is a wonderful word and one I can remember my Mother using, I can even hear her say it. As for the context of her usage I could not tell you but the sound of the word on her lips stuck with me.


The first definition is one most writers know all too well as we have more ideas, or a plethora of, plots, scenarios, and character visualizations in our heads than is possible to get onto paper before the next one ‘pops’ up. There are techniques and tips on how to grasp these precious insights, of course. Ensure you have a notebook with you at all times, in your purse, the glove compartment of your car, beside your bed and in your workplace desk. Each hastily scribbled note may develop into the perfect scene for your latest W.I.P or set you on a journey into a new project. Unfortunately there are a few downfalls to these ‘tips,’ such as trying to write your notes in the pitch black of your bedroom while your partner snores beside you. With distracted driving laws, jotting down a nugget of genius at the traffic lights can get you a fine and feverishly writing at your work desk may be even more serious. You never know when the boss may be looming.

Paper- Writing

Let’s think how we can make this advice work for us. Instead of scribbling in the dark, purchase a

small book light to clip to your notebook, it allows you to see but will not disturb the sleeping person beside you. The only idea I can come up with for the inspirational thought while driving is to pull over to the side of the road and jog it down. After all your safety and that of everyone around you is the most important. The last item is a lot trickier as it all depends on your workplace situation. You could keep a document or email open but minimized on your computer and type your insights into it quickly or use your lunch break to note them down.

What are your tricks in capturing your gems of inspiration?

The second definition of plethora, certainly conjures up a visualization of a character. A drunk sitting on the pavement or an over weight bully screaming insults at his victim. With the right word choice, we can show our readers without using long paragraphs of exposition. A writer is always aiming to refine their writing to engage the reader without excessive use of description, which can be detrimental to the story’s flow and the interest of the reader can wane quickly, when the ‘action’ subsides.



How about using plethora in a quick 5 minute prompt? See what fun you can have with it.

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