One of the suggestions of the author Neil Gaiman in his writing Master Class involved drawing up lists of related words close to the preoccupations of a forthcoming novel. In my experience, being someone who has an inspirational approach to writing, such word lists not only activate a rich store of vocabulary, but also give depth to the subject and nourish the narrative. Here are two that I created for the Boy & Girl Saga where girls’ clothes and healing were key subjects. Note that neither of these lists pretends to be exhaustive.
ankle socks, ballerinas, ballet shoes, bandeau, belt, beret, bikini, blazer, blouse, bodice, bomber jacket, boots, bow tie, bra, bralettes, breast-binder, camisole, cap, cardigan, cloak, court shoes, crop top, culottes, dress, gaiters, gingham dress, hat, head scarf, hoodie, jacket, jeans, jeans jacket, joggers, kilt, knee socks, knickers, lace, leg warmers, leggings, loafers, long sleeved, mittens, neckerchief, nightie, nightwear, pad, panties, pants, pencil dress, petticoat, pinafore, pinafore dress, pleated skirt, plimsolls, polo shirt, pullover, pumps, pyjamas, roll-ons, scarf, school uniform, shawl, shoes, short sleeved, shorts, shorty briefs, singlet, skater skirt, skirt, slip, slippers, sneakers, socks, sou’wester, stockings, string, suit, sunglasses, suspenders, sweater, sweatshirt, swimming costume, swimsuit, T-shirt, tam-o’-shanter, Tammy, tartan, tank top, teddy, tie, tights, top, tracksuit, training bra, trousers, tube skirt, Tulle, tutu, underskirt, undershirt, underwired bra, vest, waistcoat, wellies,…
Health and healing
acute, afflicted, ailment, amber glass, amulet, apothecary, bandage, barren, binding, bleeding, blessing, blister, blemish, blood-flow, bodily ailments, bone-setting, breakdown, bruise, burping, cancer, cauldron, charms, cleanliness, collapse, congestion, constipation, convulsions, cramps, crutches, curative, cure, curse, decoctions, disease, divination, draught, epilepsy, faint, (a) fit, folk-medicine, freckles, gangrene, giddy, growth, headache, healing touch, healing waters, heart burn, haemorrhage, herbalist, herb-craft, hiccups, ill, illness, ills, infection, infertility, inflammation, inhalation, injury, invocations, itching, joints, laying on of hands, leech, light-headed, love spell, leeches, magnetism, malady, medicine bag, membrane, menstruation, migraine, minor cures, monthlies, mortar and pestle, mould, ovaries, period, plaster, potions, poultice, prayers, prophylactic, purge, salves, purifying scent, rebirth, recovery, reiki, remedies, rheumatism, scratch, shaman, shamanic extraction, sick, sickness, simmer, simples, sinew, skin conditions, smear, soul, soul-fragmentation, soul-sickness, spell-craft, splint, splitting headache, spiritual correlations, spiritual healing, spirit-lore, spittle, sprain, steep, talisman, tinctures, tingle, treat, under the weather, vapours, venom, vitality, ward, wholeness and harmony, withering, woozy, word of power, wound,..
More about the Boy & Girl Saga
Boy & Girl – Twelve-year-old Peter secretly dresses as a girl. Imagine his delight when he finds himself in the head of a girl. Yet, despite his wild hopes, that girl is not him. She’s Kaitling, the daughter of a mage in a beleaguered world. Peter has his own problems when a vicious new girl at school threatens to reveal his girly ways. Becoming friends, Kaitlin and Peter join forces to do battle with those who oppose them.
In Search of Lost Girls – Dressed as a girl, Peter sets out in search of his soul-mate Kate who has been ripped from his arms and kidnapped. In his quest, he is hounded by fanatics bent on eliminating those who mess with gender. Meanwhile, Kate has been dumped in a nightmarish girls’ orphanage where she emerges as a decisive figure in the rescue of her fellow orphans. Will the two ever be together again?
We Girls – Retain his androgynous ambiguity or say goodbye to his girlish self, such is the existential choice that besets Peter. Circumstances, however, force both him and Kate to take up other challenges. By straddling the line between child and adult, between carefree creativity and weighty responsibility, between play and work, they find imaginative ways to confront far-reaching problems on which adults persistently turn a blind eye.
Colourful People – What happens when a boy who dresses as a girl, but has no wish to transition, is confronted with a boisterous crowd of transgender youth in a desperate search for a safe haven? The fierce will to be themselves despite the determined opposition of society is common to both the Lost Girls and the Colourful People. Not surprising then that they join forces and advance together. (Currently being written)