Capture the Heat Without Getting Hot

There’s a car dealer in this area whose theme is “It’s hot, (dealer’s name)!”  At one time, I determined I would never buy a car from this dealer because I grew so sick of hearing “it’s hot!” over and over again when the ads ran during the TV shows I watched.  The dealer yelled at the top of his voice, extolling his deals as though the viewers were not only deaf, but also dumb enough that we didn’t get it the first time around.  Of course, because it was one of the most irritating ads in the local area, it played constantly.

Think about your own writing.  Are you like this car dealer, telling us the same thing repeatedly, beating us over the head with the same words until we swear to ourselves we’ll never read anything else you write?

Of course not!  Your descriptions pull the reader into your scene with a fresh turn of phrase on every page.

So let’s consider last week’s post about the weather.  Did you sit down and write a story or article using the theme I suggested?  Did you describe how the heat affected your comfort?

How many ways did you find to describe how hot it is, without using the word “hot”?

Let’s give it a try.

The sidewalk sizzled beneath her, the skin burned from the soles of her feet leaving a trail behind her.

Leaves dropped from the trees while flowers drooped to the ground in the arid breeze stirred by her passage

Overhead, the sun appeared to spin against the steel white sky, as its glare assaulted her aching eyes.

When she stepped off the concrete, the dry grass crackled beneath her feet, offering no relief.

Deep fissures in the surface of the field created a checkerboard path to a coulee that only a year ago was a trickling stream.

Sweat oozed from every pore until there was not one more drop of moisture to suck from her body.

Can you feel her gasping for breath, the world drying up, as you read these sentences?

How many more ways can you inform your reader that it is hot?  Try to come up with at least twenty different words or sentences to describe the weather without using the word “hot.”

How do you keep your vocabulary fresh and rich?  In the comments, describe some of the exercises you employ to make your writing original and interesting to your reader.