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Alan Kellogg's profile photoChris Huddleston's profile photoRowan Cota's profile photoKat Richardson's profile photo
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I should have saved all that time I spent in creative writing class, and just read your lists. ;) (Seriously, having to unlearn the creative writing "rules" is taking more time than writing ever has.)
 
You can't always dumb down your writing, sometimes only the big words will do.
 
+Alan Kellogg -- I'm not suggesting one should dumb down their writing; I'm suggesting you shouldn't "smarten" it just to feel better about yourself. What I said still applies: say the most with the fewest. If that means making use of big words because only big words say what you mean, then so be it.
 
It's all about picking the most appropriate word--the one that does the most work for you in the easiest way in that location. I get notes from readers upon occasion asking if I really use the words I put in my books in everyday speech, and, for the most part, I do. I refuse to "dumb down" but I also don't strive to "write up." If the reader has to look up one word in the whole novel, I think that's reasonable. If they have to look up or "blip over" more, I've flown too high, but I also assume my readers are about as smart as I am.... Maybe that's why I'm still in the midlist....
 
Outstanding advice. I guess the only question that remains is when do we get the full story on Old Man Dongweather? With a name like that, he's gotta be an interesting old codger.
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