Word lists: from girls’ clothes to healing

from girls’ clothes to healing

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.

Girls’ clothes

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,..

The Boy & Girl Saga

Boy & Girl – Imagine Peter’s delight when he finds himself in the head of a girl, he who secretly dresses as a girl. Yet, despite his wild hopes, that girl is not him. She’s Kaitlin, the daughter of a mage in a beleaguered world. Peter has his own problems when a new girl at school threatens to reveal his girly ways. Becoming friends, Kate and Peter confront their problems together.

In Search of Lost Girls – In search of Kate, his lost soul-mate, Peter is beset by individuals hell-bent on stopping him dressing as a girl and besmirching the name of all those who befriend him. Meanwhile Kate has been dumped into a girls’ orphanage where, despite constant abuse and mistreatment, she emerges as a decisive figure in the rescue of her fellow orphans.

We Girls – Peter is beset by an existential choice, retain his androgynous ambiguity or say goodbye to his girlish self. 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.

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