I once went to visit Niagara Falls and upon seeing it, thought, “Wow.” But is that the best word? Isn’t there a better word to describe one of the world’s natural wonders? Commanding, elegant, grandson, sublime. There are probably a million words in every language imaginable that are better than, wow. Although I think wow pretty much says it all.
So how do you use words to enhance your writing? First write a sentence, then rewrite that sentence in a different way. After that, choose specific words and consult a thesaurus—Thesaurus sites are a great resource—and rewrite your sentence again. Repeat this process till your heart’s content.
Then, or maybe this should be the first thing you do, decide what emotion your sentence should portray, or what information should be gathered, and search for words that fit your goal.
Sentence 1: Niagara Falls took my breath away.
Sentence 2: When I saw Niagara Falls, I lost my breath.
Sentence 3: As I approached the edge, I felt the roar of the falls, and my heart shuttered as Niagara Falls came into view.
The last sentence evokes a visual effect for the reader.