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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Writing 'Down' to readers, I can't, I won't.

First, because I love words too much. I'm a writer. Words are my paintbrush. They're how I draw you, my readers, into the story and help you get to know the characters I love so much. (And some I hate.)
Second, I can't write 'down' to my readers, I respect all of you, of them, too much. I trust you to understand, and if you don't, to get understand by how a word is used.
What brings this subject up? Someone posted to a Facebook writers group I'm on that someone had instructed him that maybe he needed to write 'down' to his readers. There was an astonishing amount of debate on the subject.
I consider myself primarily a fantasy writer, although I love to write thrillers, and I wrote a four-part romance series. And, following the maxim of writing the things that scare you, I also wrote a horror novel based on a recurring nightmare, and a book about a young woman trying to overcome childhood abuse and grief to learn how to love again.
A sere desert - used in Demon's Kiss
However I also write erotic romance under a pen name, and I remember getting a virtually joyous letter from a fan waxing rhapsodic about how I had used the word 'sere' (for those who aren't familiar with it, it means parched, dry) in an erotic romance. She was so happy to find a writer of erotica who used words like that.
My dear darling husband is one of the smartest men I know - he reads philosophical and religious non-fiction all the time to expand his understanding of those topics - but he was born in Appalachia and his spelling and familiarity with some words varies. He has no problem, though, with understanding words in the context in which they're used, and if he doesn't, he looks the word up. He's smart that way. I think most of my readers are, too.