Make sure your words suit your intended audience.
I love the written word and I like to find and use big obscure words to aid in descriptions of characters, places and events occurring in my manuscript.
Do my readers love this also? I’m oblivious but I don’t want to be. I want them to enjoy my story as much as I did writing it. .
I know each paragraph should focus on one main idea or issue, and information in the paragraph should disclose knowledge about the same concern, so the reader can absorb the material you want them to know.
Similar to writing copy, when writing a novel, you are trying to convey your theme or message across to the reader. It needs to be relatable and connect with them.
I think it reasonable to assume you need your content to be widely accessible for it to be enjoyable to your intended audience. If the reader needs to look up your word choices repeatedly to understand your writing, then you’ve failed them.
Of course, you still ought to be sure you are using the correct jargon if your character would realistically be “in the know”. If your character is a doctor, they need to know medical terms and use them, your audience might not understand the words but are likely to forgive this as it provides the character with authenticity.
And my own pet hate; don’t overuse the same words because it interrupts the flow of the manuscript and it’s just plain boring.
So, my promise to myself….
If I must look up the meaning of the word in my story to be sure I have used it appropriately, I’ll most likely use an alternate word. 🙂