08 May 2012

Create Invented Words with the Reader in Mind

Invented Words in Fiction

If you are writing a fictional story or novel, you will probably need to invent some words. The further away from reality you get, the more new words you will need.

Fictional Characters and Places

You will need fictional names of characters and of places. You might invent a new location, a species or a new technology. Regardless of what you are creating from scratch, be sure to label those new things with your reader in mind.

Create Fictional Words Wisely

My Pet; Aul'thlakt-Tau'nu'nu
Three apostrophes in a name might seem foreign or alien, but it doesn’t help your reader get past the word quickly. If people stumble on the word each time they come to it, they might get annoyed. Readers should be able to read your invented words with relative ease.

Test Invented Words

Because many people sound out their words, invented terms should be possible to pronounce. Some writers will create new words without testing the sound out loud. If you find you stumble on your own creation while reading aloud, your reader won’t stand a chance. Be kind to your audience. Make your names as weird, unique or alien as you like, but make them pronounceable, for the sake of your readers.

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