When shouldn’t you make up words for your book?
I love to ask other fantasy authors how much vocabulary they created for their books. R.W. Buxton, author of Moscow Nights surprised me recently with his answer of “one word.” Read his interesting explanation of why.
This is an easy one… Just one. Day-walker, a person with vampiric powers that aren’t undead and can survive the sun. Although in this book I break the rule, I guess you’ll have to read it to find out how, and why.
In urban fantasy, in general, I don’t see the need for the creation of many new words. After all, it’s set in the world we are all familiar with. A world we can reach out and touch every day. Sure there are fantastical creatures like vampires, werewolves, or ghosts, but they don’t require that many new words. There is one exception to this, and that’s urban fantasy that involves the Fae. For me, these usually cross over into the realm of true fantasy novels. In this sub-genre I find there is a good deal of new vocabulary and of course new worlds, or should I say realms.
Not that the first draft of Capital Thirst, my first novel, didn’t have its fair share of new vocabulary. After I posted that draft to an author critique site, I received overwhelming feedback that it wasn’t necessary and confused the reader. It disheartened me. I worked hard to create that vocabulary to build a mystic vampire world. Not to mention it was my first novel, and I wanted everyone to love it.
After much thought, I decided these other authors were probably right. It wasn’t necessary, and I wanted the book to take place in the real world, albeit one with vampires. So I took it out.
There is clearly a time and place for creating new vocabulary. Science fiction or pure fantasy, for example. But in the end, it just wasn’t necessary for the type of writing I’m doing. Overall, it just confused things.
Find Moscow Nights at
Amazon — https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KXG6CWS
Apple — https://books.apple.com/us/book/moscow-nights/id1527771232
BN — https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moscow-nights-rw-buxton/1137483626
Kobo — https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/moscow-nights-7
See the original post, which was part of a Goddess Fish Book Tour, at Moscow Nights.