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  1. #1
    DaBlaRR
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    Simple words VS. Fancy words

    Is it important to use big, fancy words.

    When I read something, I find myself having to stop mid sentence and google what the hell I just read.

    In my little project that I am working on as a new writer, I do occasionally try to find a better looking word to replace a simple one, but not often.

    I like simplicity, or maybe it is my lack of vocab. The latter is more likely.

    But really I don't want to lie to anyone, especially the reader. I don't want to write and come across as this insanely intelligent dude with a vocab that reaches the end of the earth and back, when in fact that is a far cry from who I am.

    Trying to find big ass words is one thing, then there is the second step of actually figuring out even how to put them in a sentence. What's the point of that when I feel I can explain something in a very simple approach.

    Some of the things I read on this site, with writers looking for critique I can't get through because the words are, what I find, unnecessary. I'm all for growing my vocab, hence why I do occasionally learn other words. That is fine. But sometimes I feel it get's carried away.

    So my question is, is it important to "pretty" everything up by using words that I didn't know existed yesterday? OR can you tell a fricken awesome story by sticking with the basics?



  2. #2
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    In short, no. Using fancy words for the sake of using fancy words just gets in the way of the story, as you've noticed yourself. If your reader doesn't understand what the heck you just said, you're going to lose them pretty quickly. You need to find the right word to express what you mean, not the most obscure word. The exception may be in dialog, where you use the words to illustrate how your character speaks and thinks and interacts with others.

  3. #3
    DaBlaRR
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    awesome answer Gil. Thanks. The dialogue part makes complete sense to me. And yes, the times i mentioned above when I had to find better words, was primarily for the very fact I needed to express it in a stronger way with the use of a more telling word. So that is encouraging. Thanks.

  4. #4
    Rogue Mutt
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    Though Wickett would say it's a perfectly cromulent word, I'd say you shouldn't use "fusty" and the like. Unless you're writing for academics and then go nuts.

  5. #5
    DaBlaRR
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    Ha ha ha... I know what thread you are talking about. I saw that debate.

  6. #6
    DaBlaRR
    Guest
    ROGUE haha... ok you made me google "cromulent". This is what I got....

    'Cromulent' is simply a made-up word, in fact, made up to describe another made-up word from the Simpson's animated show. It was coined, as you noted, by the writers for that Simpsons episode in 1996.

  7. #7
    Rogue Mutt
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaBlaRR View Post
    ROGUE haha... ok you made me google "cromulent". This is what I got....

    'Cromulent' is simply a made-up word, in fact, made up to describe another made-up word from the Simpson's animated show. It was coined, as you noted, by the writers for that Simpsons episode in 1996.
    You've really embiggened this thread with that.

  8. #8
    Member K.S. Crooks's Avatar
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    I try to write using words that come naturally to me. The issue then comes with making locations and characters feel different. I may choose an alternate selection of words to describe a lake region where elves inhabit versus a lake area where people live. I do this even more with the way my characters speak. I decide on a use of language in general for different groups in the story. For main and secondary characters I like to have a particular way of speaking for each. To do this I need to dip into a thesaurus and find words that suit the character. It can be as simple as using "nevertheless" instead of "but" or more complicated. It also depends on the audience you are writing for. If your novel is targeted to adults you can use a greater amount fancy words than in a middle grade novel.
    K.S. Crooks - Dreamer and Author
    http://www.kscrooks.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    I'm the king of simple and clear writing. The primary words you want to watch for change are verbs. Read "About Hammer & Tongs" in the Hammer & Tongs page of my website - I have a whole list of verbs that deaden writing due to overuse. Watch out for them and change them to better verbs whenever you can. The better verbs need not be "big" or "fancy", just more descriptive.

  10. #10
    DaBlaRR
    Guest
    Thanks for the input K.S.

    John, I will definitely look at that section on your site. Thanks for the resource.

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