Free-for-All; Melee; Set-To; Brouhaha; Fray; Ruckus; Donnybrook; Uproar

Yeah, weird title, I know. But when we saw we had no set topic for this week, one of our members said we could have a free-for-all and pick whatever we wanted to talk about this week. WOW, a free-for-all!  Such fun and of course, these words rang in my ears. These synonyms, if you will. 

I have always been a wordsmith and adore words and their power.  So, how do I relate free-for-all and its synonyms to writing? I think the phrase relates to conflict. Conflict is inherent in all good storytelling. Without conflict, stories would be dull (Or tripe, hooey, hogwash, or drivel – but I digress with more synonyms- someone stop me before I hurt myself). Conflict is the driving force of an excellent story. It makes for forward momentum- (Really, someone stop me). 

Anyway, before this post gets more inane, ridiculous and stupid, take my advice. Always have a brouhaha, ruckus, uproar or donnybrook in your stories. I try to.  Makes it more interesting.

Happy Tuesday!


About Author

The author of these blog posts is a lawyer by day and fiction writer by night.
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11 Responses to Free-for-All; Melee; Set-To; Brouhaha; Fray; Ruckus; Donnybrook; Uproar

  1. danicaavet says:

    I love free-for-all weeks! And I like doing the “unexpected” in my stories…which I’m sure doesn’t surprise you and that’s just messed up since it means I’m predictable…which is in direct contrast to how I write. God, I just gave myself a headache.


  2. jeff7salter says:

    ‘Donnybrook’ is such a great word. But so is ‘ruckus’.
    I absolutely agree that just about any good novel, novella, or short story needs some conflict to be resolved … otherwise, why would a reader be interested?
    But here’s the irony (to me, anyway): in real life, most people prefer NOT to have conflict or strife themselves. [Yeah, I know some people thrive on it, but I think the majority avoid it]. So, if most people — & I assume most readers — would rather not have horrible conflict in their own lives, why would they be compelled to read about conflict in other people’s lives?
    Is is the same instinct which makes us look at a bad wreck as we drive by slowly?

    Well, whatever the motivation for reading about strife … it certainly makes characters more interesting. Nobody cares very much what our characters do while they’re watching TV or napping, but our readers LOVE to know how they’ll react when a piece of a space satellite comes crashing through their roof! And the dog runs away … and a hunky neighbor dashes out of the shower to come help. Or the naked divorcee suddenly develops amnesia. Ha.


    • Jeff- you’re right. A lack of conflict in my own life makes me happy but I love to read action and conflict of fictional characters. If there is none, that’s like literary fiction which CAN be compelling in its own way but not with the same panache.

      Bring on the hunky neighbor to help when that satellite falls!!


  3. Micki Gibson says:

    What do I need a thesaurus for when I have the fabulous Jillian Chantal at my disposal? And seriously, we need to use such a great word like “donnybrook” much more often.


  4. Laurie Ryan says:

    This could become a fun new game. Instead of “how many words can you make out of the letters” it would be “how many synonyms can you name”. 🙂 And I LOVE Jeff’s “word-ivore”.


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