Inventing Words

Friday is here and it’s time to stretch our imagination. I’m borrowing from a top 10 writing prompt list from 2018. When the words we know fail us, it’s time to invent a new one. Some call these ghost words, and somewhere editors with with dictionary groups decide whether or not they will go into their pages of definitions. When you think about it, all words have origins and were added into our every day language at some point.

Your homework for today is to create a new word and write the definition. Write a short using the word to give it context for other readers. Don’t know where to begin? Fantasy writers create new languages and words all the time. They combine foreign languages and smash words we know together. In my opinion, using words we are familiar with already makes it easier for readers – just like some words that stay the same in all languages.

Today we are creating a store brand name that will be used across the world. If you’re still at a loss, then smash two words you know together. You can challenge yourself by using two unrelated words or opposites. Like dinosaur and shrimp, or dinoshrimp. Combining something unusually large with something small can create a new word. Cultural slangs use this all the time.

(Note: I found that dinoshrimp did exist when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. They were giant shrimp.)

Using this word, you could go easy and add it to the menu of an aspiring chef in one of your stories. Here is another group that gets creative when creating their new dishes. Can you see Dinoshrimp on the menu? Do you see larger than normal fantails or octopus tentacles coming out of a shell?

Can you imagine a character bursting out of it’s shell like a dinoshrimp?

Writers have the power to give words content beyond their definitions. This is the point of today’s prompt. Push your imagination. Just stay kind. I encourage words that give the right kind of power to characters, instead of creating negative connotations that lead to bullying. Take those wimpy words and give one of your underdog power.

My posts are Monday through Friday. You can find a copy of my new Writer’s Journal at

~Yoon Ju

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Published by yoonjuwrites

I’m an author in Minnesota who started out writing and illustrating Children’s books. I’ve published poetry and adult Romance Novels. I created my website and social media to reach out to other writers because the process can be lonely. I wanted to reach out to readers, writers, and those with a dream of finishing “that” novel. I share the advice of other writers and the tools I use to create my stories.

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