In an earlier post, I suggested not to underestimate your readers by being redundant. When it comes to vocabulary I think we should try to avoid talking down to readers by overusing words you need a dictionary to help the reader through a paragraph. For me, that takes away from the story. The writer will lose me and I don’t think that’s a good thing. I have an extensive vocabulary and still there are thousands of words I’m not familiar with. I don’t mind being introduced to new words I just don’t want to be bombarded with them.
It’s one thing to sprinkle a word not often used here and there. If the sentence is constructed correctly most people will figure out what the word means. A sentence with several ten-gallon words isn’t going to make your story any more impressive. Yes, it’s about the writing and correct grammar but more so it’s the story. When I read I like to be transported into the world the writer creates. If I have to stop and look up words every few minutes I will be frustrated.
As writers, we have to keep in mind that most readers only read at a six-grade level. That’s the level of most newspapers are written in. There are words that are pretty and you just have to use them and that’s okay. I just suggest you spread them around a bit.
Do you use words that aren’t used in everyday language in your writing?
Do you think it makes your work more impressive?
Last week I shared with you guys that I sent an agent five pages of Hidden Temptation. No, I haven’t heard from them and I know I won’t. I decided to read those five pages and found I still have my tenses screwed up. I know I should have read it before I pressed send. However if she gets to the end of page five she’ll want to know what happens next. That’s a good thing I think.
Anyway, I’m editing Hidden Temptation again. I asked my friend, the writer to wait until I finish this edit. I decided to change it back to the present tense and keep their thoughts and memories in past tense.
What do you think?
Do you think that will work?
Disclaimer: I completed Hidden Temptation, my first completed novel and this blog is a humble attempt to create interest in its debut. I am not a professional and this is no way an educational guide. I am merely sharing my writing experience, what I picked up reading other novels, and what I learned in the process of completing Hidden Temptation.
I hope my experience helps fellow writers create a higher quality of art. I do not presume that Hidden Temptation is perfect or of professional quality but I do believe it is close. Your opinions, thoughts, and feedback are most welcome. Please feel free to create an open thread and share thoughts, and opinions so that we can help each other grow as a community of writers.