There are certain words I avoid using – erect being one of them. Every word I type onto the page is a brush stroke painted within my reader’s mind. With that said, I can’t say I care much for the image, I just now, involuntarily painted.
Unless, of course, the image (the one that’s already fading away), was the one for which I was striving – it wasn’t. There are quite a few words like that. One’s that due to their most common usage, form a default image; an image that has nothing to do with what is being read or the conversation being exchanged.
I also don’t like to use words that may make the reader stumble. My blogs are written for fun and personal therapy. I write these with more whimsy and far less editing than my novels. So every now again, mingled into the blogs, you’ll jump over certain words that I find fun, words that may send you to the dictionary. I can’t help myself: remember, I sleep with a dictionary on my bed, and work with one no more than a foot away from me. I like hunting down words. My books are a different story. When I have someone speeding along, rapidly flipping through the pages of my novels, the last thing I want is to bring the reader to a screeching halt so they can hunt down a word meaning. Metaphorically speaking, my novels are written with paved roads, with well banked curves and hills; never will you find a speed bump or pot hole. My copy editor threw a few pot holes into my novels – I went back in and promptly patched over them. I’m not teaching a college english course; I’m telling a story
We’ve all been there; a story is being told, an obscure word is thrown out, and suddenly we’re struck with a bit of cluelessness. I try to refrain from that sort of priggish magisterialness (I had to dig awhile to find that last word). I have a friend who loves to use words he knows the majority are unfamiliar with. I believe it makes him feel superior. But by doing so, I believe he often loses his audience, and quite a few friends.
I was once told, by my first editor, that today’s reader is easily confused, so she advised that I rename the dog in my story; the dog has a human name, the same name as one of the characters. I refused. My readers can handle it. I was also told that today’s audience doesn’t have the time, nor patience, to read much more than what’s considered a quick read. In essence, I was told to shorten my novel and dumb it down. I shortened it slightly, but I refused to dumb it down. I believe in my audience, and their ability to grasp what’s being said. I won’t connect the dots. I feel my readers enjoy drawing those lines themselves.
I value each and every reader I have. Whether it’s those that solely ready my blog, once, twice or faithfully, or those that read my novels. Every time someone takes a moment out of their busy lives to compliment my writing, or give me some other word of encouragement, I am thankful. I am very aware of how busy people are, therefore I count my blessings every time my blog is read. In turn, I treat your minds as the sacred canvas they are, and I paint upon them carefully.