All Because of Chickens

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Saturday Morning Musings: Language

Hey, Saturday Musers!

I'm not going to try and find any smart way to start today's musings, but jump right into: Language - keeping current, keeping real, word choices...How?

Keeping current and read in language is hard when writing young characters. You need to be around children to find out how they talk amongst themselves and how they behave with each other or in groups. If you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, or a teacher, you have a built-in lab to observe. You can also observe kids by tutoring or volunteering to coach a sport or by becoming a Scout leader or a lifeguard.

Observing teenagers is often harder because they like to hang out with their peers and not with adults. But observation and listening are crucial to look for new slang words and how words are used differently than you expected.

Once you have done your research, you can use a lot of it directly in the stories you craft. If you write science-fiction or fantasy, you can alter words, perhaps creating your own language.

In my fantasy series, I adopt a heroic writing style. I never use a contraction and I work very hard never to use any word or phrasing that seems modern and would jar the reader out from the world I’ve created.

Having worked in a senior school for many years, I heard first-hand the latest phrases and words but since many of them went in and out of fashion with remarkable rapidity, I have always been wary of using them. However, some words and phrases seem to catch on and they are usually found in the media, so I feel safer using them. Social media, especially is a good way to learn what's going on in the world of young adults.

Keep reading and dreaming. If there’s anything you’re curious about just drop me a note:

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