My crime fiction novel is shaping up, but I’m tossing words back and forth, searching for appropriate synonyms. They evaded me, so I took a break from manuscript revisions.
I leafed through a California magazine filled with glossy photos of enticing pools surrounded by lush backyards—sinful in the current drought. I glanced at recipes that five-star chefs, not fledgling authors, favor. Trendy restaurants and tourist spots framed the page for readers without a backyard or a chef’s palate. Then my eyes fell on throw in a brief description beneath a potter’s photo.
I’ve used throw for everything from a baseball pitcher aiming for a strikeout to a neighbor sailing a Frisbee though the air with a dog in salivating chase. I’ve added throw to the dark side where it meant intentionally losing a competitive game, a race, or a contract. I’ve even described dropping trash into a dumpster as throwing it away.
Thanks to that magazine and Merriam-Webster online, I can shape my novel like a potter throws his wares. No longer is my protagonist thrown by the local homicide; she’s overwhelmed. She doesn’t have to throw (cast) the dice to see her next step as she throws (immerses) herself in the investigation. She jumps into her Mustang and throws it into gear (shifts) in hot pursuit of a promising clue. Later, after she throws (books) the perpetrator into jail, she’ll throw things together (pack) for a trip to Texas for the victim’s memorial. When she returns to Arizona, she’ll throw (host) a party to celebrate her success.
I hope I’m invited. After all, I’m the one who threw down everything and concentrated on throwing out repetitious verbs to throw Next of Kin manuscript into better shape.