By: Sam Lundy
Put Down the Thesaurus
Every writer wants to sound clever and smart. Some writers try different methods of writing to achieve this goal. One mistake that writers make is using complex language. There is nothing wrong with using eloquent language if it is concise. Not every work needs to sound like Margaret Mitchell or Tolkien with vast vocabularies and sometimes unnecessary exposition. (I am not criticizing either author they are both great!) The issue I am addressing is when a writer purposefully puts in what I like to call “fluff” language. This fluff is complex and although may sound nice it doesn’t sound refined. When a writer is writing a story about the difficulties of going through puberty, it wouldn’t be fitting to write words above the tone and characters. The main problem with fluff language in your story is that it devalues your story and its believability. The language needs to match the tone, subject, and characters of the story you are writing. Poetry is no different. If your language has a specific tone and rhythm to it don’t add in words just because you want to use a word other than green. If your poem is simple then keep the language simple, but still written with good craft-worthy ways of arranging those words into a great poem. Don’t try to be something that you aren’t; instead write from what you think but don’t overthink it, put down the thesaurus and enjoy what you create.