Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is references. We're asking our bloggers what one writer's reference do you often consult? Database, community, club/org, book, etc.
I'm going old school and picking my ragged, much-beloved paper copy of The Synonym Finder by J.I. Rodale. My copy is the 1978 edition and I may have had it nearly that long. I'm pretty sure I had it in high school. I used it for writing papers all the way through high school and now I use it for writing novels.
You guys, this is THE BEST RESOURCE EVER.
It's not a thesaurus, which tends to lead the casual user down twisted paths of etymological absurdity.
It's worlds better than anything I've been able to find online. (I have looked, because sometimes I want a quick reference and I don't want to have to step off the treadmill to pull this bad girl off the shelf.) Online references are so much more limited.
What The Synonym Finder does is allows me to explore and refine a concept. It leads me to branching and diverse terms for the Thing I'm Trying to Describe. You'll note I have sticky notes in place for words I often use - like "blue" and "black" - that I want richer, more precise and more interesting images for.
Everyone should have one of these!