descriptors / writers resources

70 Collections to Infuse Your Writing


For the next few months, weekly writing tips will include word choice suggestions. That includes:

  • colorful and original descriptions
  • pithy words and phrases
  • picture nouns and action verbs
  • writing that draws a reader in and addicts them to your voice

I keep a  collection of descriptions that have pulled me into the books. I’m fascinated how authors can–in just a few words–put me in the middle of their story and make me want to stay there. I’ve shared 48 themes in the past:

A note: These are for inspiration only. They can’t be copied because they’ve been pulled directly from an author’s copyrighted manuscript (intellectual property is immediately copyrighted when published).

  1. Actions That Are Timeless
  2. Actions (Era-Specific)
  3. American
  4. Appearance
  5. Body Language
  6. Body Parts
  7. Body Parts–Moving
  8. Character Traits
  9. Clothing–General
  10. Clothing—Women’s
  11. Depression
  12. Dogs
  13. Emotion Part Iemotions
  14. Emotion Part III
  15. Emotion–A to D
  16. Emotion–E to O
  17. Emotions
  18. Emotion–S to Z
  19. Fascinating Character
  20. Fight
  21. Genius
  22. Hacker
  23. Headaches
  24. Homes I
  25. Homes II
  26. Horses
  27. Intel Devices
  28. Jobs
  29. Landscape–African
  30. Landscape—General
  31. Memorable
  32. Nature
  33. Neighborhood
  34. Noses, Mouths, Legs, and more
  35. Pain
  36. Protagonistprotagonist
  37. Sensory Actions
  38. Sick and Illnesses
  39. Sickness and Illness
  40. Sight and Eyes
  41. Similes
  42. Sneak Around
  43. Sound
  44. Talking
  45. Time
  46. Vehicles–Cars, Boats, Planes, More
  47. Weird Traits
  48. Wild Animals

Over the next months, I’ll add 21 more. The links below won’t be active until the post is up. If you arrive at the link early, please come back!

  1. Animals
  2. Birds
  3. Buildings Homes I
  4. Buildings Homes II
  5. Buildings–Neighborhoods
  6. Buildings–Work
  7. Detectives
  8. Eating and Drinking
  9. Family
  10. Furnishings
  11. Geeks
  12. Geeky-Techie
  13. Law Enforcement
  14. People
  15. Room
  16. Scents
  17. Spies
  18. Ticks
  19. Transitions
  20. Weather
  21. Workouts

All of these are for inspiration only. They can’t be copied because they’ve been pulled directly out of an author’s copyrighted manuscript (intellectual property is immediately copyrighted).

When you read the collections, I’d love to have you add your descriptions.

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

96 thoughts on “70 Collections to Infuse Your Writing

  1. Pingback: 44 Ways to Describe Buildings–Homes I – Jacqui Murray

  2. This is such great resource, J.

    I am going to add a link to it in an upcoming post because I am
    Interviewing a writer and this will be super helpful for some
    Folks –
    Also –
    I can’t wait to check
    Out some of the links …

    Liked by 1 person

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  38. Jacqui you amaze me with the amount of work you have behind you. Thank you for these, I can never have too many idea prompts. I read the one on nature today. I cannot help but be inspired by the words of how others describe nature. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Holy, jump’n jive’n and lots’a other things that come to mind . . . took you a decade to collect all those references . . . it would take me a life-time to read them!!!!
    Incredible Jacqui. You continue to blow me away with your resources and know-how.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. This is a wonderful addition to having and , of course, using a thesaurus. Although I can find most words I’m looking for was a certain amount of ease with a thesaurus, phrases are a whole other matter. Yes, I understand that your list is the spark a writer’s own ideas for this, but some of the descriptions can be used as is if one is careful.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Jacqui, this is a wonderful resource. I especially like your comments at the top about descriptions, phrases, nouns and verbs, and voice. That neatly sums up the skill of writing – the rest is the experience of doing so. Good writing is fresh, original, exciting, and well crafted.

    Liked by 4 people

  42. Thank you, Jacqui. I’m reading a series right now by David Handler, and I’ll make a list of the words and phrases that drew me in because this series has really caught my eye. I started out reading one of his Berger & Mitry Crime Fiction books ten days ago, and now I have read all ten and am waiting on the eleventh to be released this month.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Jacqui, if you’re going to try the series, start with book 1- The Cold Blue Blood. It was a nominee for the Dilys Award in 2002. I read the first ten books in order. My heart started preparing for a disappointment in book five and six but I find Handler did a great job of smoothing that out to a good ending. I’m in the process of writing an overall book review on the first ten books, and when I get my list up, I will put it on one of my blogs and let you know. Three words that Handler use, I love because it is another way of defining race, and that is he says woman or women of color. With that along, he drew me in.
        Take care.

        Liked by 1 person

  43. Jacqui, what a wonderful font of inspiration – you’ve worked hard to collate all this for us – thank you so much. A writing course by itself!😄 I’m going to book mark this for future reference as well as looking through some more now. Look forward to the rest as they come out!

    Liked by 2 people

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