Sunday, October 23, 2011

A word about words....

Today, a quick blog post about writing historicals and language. One of the things I try really hard to do is avoid obvious anachronisms, especially in dialogue. I vividly remember being ripped right out of a historical novel by an author's choice of the word "ego" in a story set in the Regency. That word was tecnically correct, as in, it was in use at that time, yet it struck me as too modern. I also thought that "pride" would have meant much the same in the context and would have been a lot less distracting.

Avoiding anachronisms isn't always possible when writing historicals, but I do try to avoid words that might yank the reader out of the world of the story. To give you an example from the book I'm writing now: I needed a word that meant "spoil" as in "You spoil that boy." I chose "indulge." Both are too modern for a medieval (well, so is most language my readers and I would understand!), but "indulge" sounds less anachronistic to me than "spoil," so indulge it is.

And now, back to it!

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