Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Okay, so I realize that can be taken in many different ways.  But this one is just about language in general,  not profanity.

I've gotten a couple reviews lately on the prologue and first three chapters of When the Star Fell.  Maybe the reviewers have a point, but I'm not sure.  Both have brought up the fact that some of my characters speak too formally.

But that's the way they speak in my head.  They're my paranormals and they are older than dirt pretty much.  One even revealed to me (which will end up showing in revisions) that the formal language is a defense, a barrier from the world around her.

Yes, people speak very casually today, but is it such a problem to have a character not speak so casually?  I think we're not giving our readers enough credit if we assume they can't handle a character speaking differently than the reader does.  Or differently than another character.

Language is a funny, fickle thing.  It's changed and changed over the years, from vowel shifts to the slackening of convention, to the degeneration of language to text-speak and abbreviations left and right.  English is an even funnier thing and we ought to embrace all the variety our language allows us, not restrict it to the way the generations following us change and use language.

Rant over.


  1. I agree! There's definitely a place for different uses of language. If that is the character's voice, I say go for it. I personally like that sound, if there's a reason for it.

  2. I think in fantasy at least depending on the time period that characters do speak more formally. I guess it depends on the manuscript.

  3. I agree! And honestly I love hearing the formal language. It's beautiful!

  4. Soapbox! So it's okay to use profanity when "staying true to your character", but formal speaking is not? Sounds like hypocrisy to me. (I'm never going to get published. lol!)


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