Well, it happened again. I was, once again, accused of being too stiff or formal in the way I use language in my writing. Allow me to explain, when I was in school, (mid last century), we learned to write so everybody could understand the message. That meant that, no matter the dialect a person spoke, the written English was a common core easily understood by all. You spoke to your friends one way, to your parents a different way, but you wrote in clearly understood English for everybody.
Okay, the book in question is Hope, second edition soon to be released. The problem lies in how she writes and speaks to her mother, as well as her self talk. Hope is the child of an aristocratic father, an academic, and a social climbing mother. As a child she learned to speak from her parents. It was naturally a bit formal. That first learning will always stay with you, so her self talk will be in that same pattern.
So, when she talks to her neighbor, she talks like him so he understands, when she speaks with a sales girl, she speaks like the locals do, so they understand, but when she talks to herself or to her mother, she reverts to a more familiar way.
Now, re-read the first paragraph. Yes, it is a bit formal. The second paragraph is a bit more relaxed to read. Yup, I did this on purpose to demonstrate my point. The differences are subtle, but they are there.
And yes, before I start writing a book, I spend some time talking to the main character, get their backstory, and find out what makes them tick. Doesn’t everybody?
Now, if you enjoy the possibilities of a vast vocabulary beautifully crafted into sentences and paragraphs, go to this location and read the introduction by Rex Murphy. Rex is a god of language.
The target for this round was to exceed 60,000 words and finish the rough first draft of the WIP. Mission accomplished. That draft closed off at just over 63,000 words on Monday. Settling back into revisions of other work now so, puttin’ ‘er on cruise for a while.
Here’s hoping you all reach your goals this round. Cheering you all on!