By: Sandra Elzie
Someone recently sent me this cartoon and I had to laugh. It’s not what you have to say, it’s how you say it. You have to consider your audience and then write using words they can understand.
When I used to teach classes for the State of California or the American Red Cross, I geared my terminology to whether I was talking to a classroom of lawyers or a classroom of moms and dads who just wanted to know how to do CPR in case of an emergency.
I got to thinking that there are times that we use this particular skill when writing. For instance, if your character is a lawyer, you might have him/her use an occasional “ten-dollar” word where you’d never expect your small town or country housewife to use “hifalutin” terms.
So, when we write, you must consider the educational level of your character or their experiences. Then you also have to consider your audience. Is it a YA book? It will contain much more relaxed terminology.
Have you ever read a book where the words used didn’t “fit” right? I recently judged a contest entry that had a few blunders in this area. And, of course, there’s also the case where someone uses a modern-day cliché in a historical novel. Ever seen that?
Bottom line is that we must stay true to our characters and our time in history. If we don’t, the readers will notice and not in a good way. Share some of the blunders you’ve noticed in books.
Note: You might want to leave off the titles and author’s names since we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Thanks much!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sandra Elzie, awa Sandra McGregor, was challenged by her husband years ago to write the books she continually said she’d write once she’d retired. Never one to walk away from a challenge, she wrote the books and was first published in 2008. She has since gone on to have thirteen books out in print with more planned over the next few months. Sandra lives in the deep south with her husband of several decades and Jack the Wonder Cat.
You can connect with Sandra on her blog, Life, Love and A Good Book where she’s currently running a promotional for her newly released book, Katie, or on her web page.
Her books can be purchased on Amazon.
Happy Reading !!