First we start with a character description: Bill has grey hair.
This is a fine description, and certainly direct, but let's flex our muscles a little more:
Bill's hair is salted with grey.
Bill's hair is frosted with age.
Bill's hair is threaded with silver.
Now try these concept words on your own: peppered, streaked, flecked, weeded
You can immediately see the limitations of a traditional thesaurus; they are helpful at supplying literal equivalents, such as charcoal for grey, but frequently miss the finer nuances of language.
Beyond the inspirational support most books offer, I can assure you that two things, and only two, are guaranteed to improve your writing. These are reading and the act of writing itself. This is a small but unique 'literary thesaurus' that bridges the gap of reading by taking common descriptive devices and words and places them into usable categories that will serve as a ready toolbox for your own writing.
This lesson is ideal for beginning and intermediate fiction writers and is approximately thirteen pages in length.