Thursday, December 8, 2011

A tree by any other name


Today I realized what I love best about living here in the Pacific Northwest.  The sky may be gray more than other parts of the country, but I am surrounded by a never-ending wall of green.  As beautiful as the trees are here, they also vex me.  No, not the trees themselves, but the verbiage of the tree.
My current work of fiction takes place in the national forest surrounding Mount Baker.  So, you ask, how many times have I used a tree reference?  Too many to count.  (Despite my best efforts I still have 61 uses of “tree” itself)  I’m at a loss as how I should diversify my wording. 
Tree…foliage…forest…woods…trees…pines…firs…Douglass Fir…cedar…flora…plants…plant life…green…evergreen…sapling…seedling…timber…log…snag…
All describe what Christine is seeing at one point or another.  All convey the message, but how do I use the right word in the right place to paint the picture I want my reader to see?  My Flip Dictionary has an entire page of tree words but not many other words for tree. 
How do I make “tree” interesting?  I'm open to suggestions. 
(And, don’t even get me started with “green”.)

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