“I never write metropolis for seven cents because I can get the same price for city. I never write policeman because I can get the same money for cop. ”― Mark Twain, Mark Twain’s Speeches
I remember way back in elementary school where each week we would have to do our “vocabulary words.” During the week, we needed to memorize how to spell the list of BIG words, and correctly use them in a sentence. Since this was long before Dictionary.com, and e-reading devices with embedded dictionaries, we completed these tasks by searching through an actual physical dictionary.
At the end of the week, we would have a test. I guess I kind of miss that.
As a reader, I’ve always enjoyed stories that are easy to read, but I really appreciate when an author changes things up and inserts a few “vocabulary words.”
I remember when I first read Meyer’sTwilight and stumbled across the word “irrevocably” this is not an everyday word. Engrossed in the story, I just thought the MC was really really in love. Destined to look up the word for its exact meaning, I later learned that her love was unchangeable.
I enjoy these words here and there, even if its just one in 400 pages. They force me to pause, to admire the author, to practice comprehension and create a new neural connection; just like in grade school.
So as a writer-writing for my own pleasure first-I tend to write stories that are easy to read but if the muse insists upon a “vocabulary word” I’m going to find a way to throw it in just as I would any character, setting or plot device; seven cents or not.
Check out my Coming Soon page for updates on my current work In progress.
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