Setting Thesaurus Entry: Attic


insulation, exposed wooden beams, pipes, wiring, exhaust fan, porthole window, cracks showing light, airflow tubing, mice/rat/small animal feces, bugs, spiderwebs, dirty floors, dust, boxes, barrels, trunks, old furniture, broken vacuums, children's toys, old clothing, Christmas decoration, sheets covering antiques, dust floating in the air, board games, rolled up rugs, dusty picture frames/paintings stacked against the wall, animal tracks in the dust, beetles, dead flies/bees/moths, floorboards, mildew stains from a leaky roof or window, grimy window & window sill, taxidermy collections, dressmaker's dummy, rocking chair, old curtains/window treatments stored in garbage bags, trunks with war memorabilia (soldier's uniform & gear) old Halloween costumes, high school memory items, trunks with wedding gifts/wedding memory items, rag rugs, fold down staircase, light bulb & pull string, old shoes/cowboy boots/roller skates, collectibles long forgotten, stand mirrors, hats, hat boxes, boxes and bins of books


creaks, squeaking mice, scampering feet, claws against floorboards, fabric crinkling, the wind out on the roof, voices hear through the floor, footsteps, music or movement floating up through air ventilation, rain against the roof, thunder and lightning, water running through the eaves


insulation, mouse/rat/possum droppings, mold, mildew, sawdust, dirt, damp wood, dry rot, rotten fabric, wet cardboard, cold metal


damp air, stale air, dust, gritty teeth from dust trapped in the air


Feet against wobbly stairs, reaching out to grab a beam, carefully moving drop cloths to minimize the dust in the air, running hands over a cherished toy or item, pulling back cardboard flaps, the cold metal hinge on a trunk, pushing/shoving a heavy lid, coughing on dust, waving hand in front of face to ward off dust, picking way across beams or past soft spots in the floor, stepping to avoid feces, jumping or flinching at the sight of a mouse, holding up an old dress/outfit to chest, imagining wearing it again, running hand carefully over a lace or fragile cloth, lifting a hat from a box and settling it on the head, sorting through junk, running hand over something, trying to understand what it is, carrying something over to the window to see it better in the light, leaning against the windowsill to see outside, rubbing a hand over dirty glass to see through it, bumping into junk or working past something cumbersome, bumping a hip, jarring a funny bone or causing an accidental scrape, pushing a key into a tarnished lock on a chest, lugging something out into the open, stubbing a toe on something lying on the floor, losing balance

Helpful hints:

--The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.

Example 1:

The one-eyed doll, leaning drunkenly against an old vacuum, faced the back of the attic where the strange thumping noise seemed to be coming from. Her sadistic smile of rotten stitches made me feel like she knew something I didn't.

Example 2:

Just my luck to draw the attic as my room to dejunk. The far wall was lined with old peanut barrels, each full of Aunt Ethel's clothing and who knows what else from before the war. I rolled up my sleeves, and eyeing the rat droppings on the floor, decided to grab a pair of rubber gloves before braving the barrel's contents.

--Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.

Example 1: (Simile)

Mouse turds were everywhere, scattered all over the floorboards like rice at a wedding.

Example 2: (Metaphor)

Thanks to an industrious family of mice, my old High school band uniform had been reduced to doll stuffing.

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Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I've got this picture of you crawling around the attic, notebook and pen in hand, scarf to cover your hair or nose as need be. You are the most intrepid hunter of word detail. Ever.

Angela said...

Ha! Not this time. Seeing as I don't have much of an attic to speak up, I relied on Google images to inspire me. :-)

PJ Hoover said...

Ooh, there is nothing like an attic for a book...except possibly a cellar. Very nice one!

Danyelle said...

I love this! Attics have so much potential. Great post! (Loved the wobbly stair bit.) :D

Vivian said...

Should I worry that I saw the words for droppings and mouse turds, right away? Eeew. Shiver.

Great post!

Don said...

My first time here, just discovered it yesterday. This is a great resource. Great job too. One thing I'd ad -- I know this well because I spent all of Sunday afternoon shop-vac-ing out an old attic -- is Nails. I vaccuumed up so many, ( pulled a few out of my shoe too ), I'm worried the roof may someday come crashing down.

Angela said...

Attics have great potential! I agree, PJ & Danyelle!

Vivian, you might want to set a few traps...

Don, welcome! Nails! You are exactly right--that's a great add!


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