Stephen King hates the thesaurus. Who the hell cares?


Not me.

I use multiple thesauri every day. I use them for work (hey, you sell the same damn chair 20 ways without some suggestions) and I use them for writing fiction. And I don’t care what Stephen King thinks.

I wrote this post because I’m seeing a new STEPHEN KING RULE OF WRITING RTd unto a Stephen King character death on Twitter: “Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.”


Let’s say that you want to describe something in a scene as “glowing,” but that doesn’t quite work in your scene. Or you have another word on the edge of your fingertips. So you go to the thesaurus and find the words florid, vibrant, and lustrous. And one of them is the word you want. It’s the right word for your work.

Writers have their methods and to each writer, that method becomes a personal rule. Unfortunately, sometimes it becomes a quote bandied about by aspiring writers and makes other aspiring writers feel UNNERVED. I came up with that one all on my own.

There are exceptions to every writing rule.

And if it worries you that much, well, no one knows that you consulted a thesaurus unless you tell them.


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