I figure I’m about the pantsiest pantser that ever was. I get an idea, I just write, explore, no set-in-stone objective. I let my story tell itself. (I always say, my characters have way better ideas than I do.)
I write prose, and I write verse — yikes! — the kind that rhymes. That’s a grand game for me, discovering surprising solutions. Sometimes the rhyme dictates what comes next. A good rhyming dictionary is full of neat/odd words.
Plenty of Old and Middle English terms work swell for me. (Much of my stuff is set in the late sixteenth century.) My best rhyming dictionary, that I swear by, is The Complete Rhyming Dictionary, edited by Clement Wood, published by Doubleday, copyright 1936. Beats the pants of my others — I have several.
And you wouldn’t believe how many words, that I assume are contemporary slang, are derived from Middle English, Dutch, French, I’m not picky. If I can justify their use in any way, I’m on them like a dung beetle on . . . yeah, dung.
I’ll have some of my nonsense up here shortly. I just joined, still trying to sort this place out.
By the way, the weird, fun words, I define them in zany footnotes. Footnotes are a marvelous comic device, I abuse them in many wonderful ways.