I love words, especially the creative, expressive ones. You’ll find them littered throughout my stories, contributing to my voice and style.
Is that a good thing?
There’s advice to use precise verbs in place of verb + adverb. I tend to lean that direction. Then there’s the advice to use simple words, words everyone will understand. It brought Olga Godim’s IWSG post from June to mind.
When I picked up a new online critique partner, I realized just how much of my everyday vocabulary isn’t common. She’s not a native English speaker, so I saw this as an excellent opportunity to see which of my words might give people pause. Sure, there are the colloquialisms of egads, woot, and criminy. But I was surprised by other words such as scampered, scurried, and prodded.
Will I change these words? Probably not. As a young teen, Piers Anthony inspired me to learn all the wrong words with his character the Demoness Metria. But I’ve been mulling over how much of my vocabulary I take for granted, and it’s an interesting observation.
Have you ever worked with a non-native English speaker with your writing? Do you tend to use common words or more expressive ones? What are some of the words you’ve encountered that were unfamiliar to you?