When I write, at bottom of the page, I collect a list of fragments and word ideas that I want to include at some stage in the story. I list them under ‘Scraps’. I cross them off when I’ve used them and add to them all the time, when a word or turn of phrase stands out that I like or overhear. At the moment, it looks something like this:
‘Threadbare’ – I want to get this word in, used in an unusual, emotional context.
‘Crackle’ – I want to put this word in, in connection with 'skin', in some way.
‘She said sweetly’ – I’ve got a character who would definitely use this in a cynical context.
‘Lukewarm apology’ – ? No – too much of a cliché…
Other ways of indicating 'silence' – such as ‘waiting for the stillness between us to expire’.
‘Standoffish’ – I want to include this somewhere, maybe in connection with a fresh image about silence.
I also have to lookout for words I use too often. Just found a cluster of 'stomped' (she stomped into the kitchen), in a book I'm editing. And I'm partial to 'criss-cross', apparently, although I didn't realise it when I wrote it about five times in one of my novels. I need to keep a beady eye out for things like that. 'Sitting rooms' and 'lounges' always have me fooled - they start out in a book as one thing and then transmute into another. Thank goodness for the 'find' button!