Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Using Modern Day Slang In Non-Modern Day Stories

No Way!

Photo provided by Visual hunt 

Lately, I’ve noticed a trend in the books I read, a habit of using modern day language or euphemisms in stories set in other time periods or other worlds. The example that pushed me into writing this post was in a story set in late medieval times. The language used by the characters wasn’t particularly old sounding, but it was good enough—that is, until one of the teen-aged characters complained of being put “on lockdown” by his parents. Man, did my suspension of disbelief take a kick to the gut.

Now I don’t mind an occasional deviation from period language for the sake of readability. “Thee”s and “Thou”s can get hard to read after a while, but the use of slang that’s only been around for about a decade or so (at least in the connotation of “being grounded”) is just too much.

And it’s not just stories set in the past. I’ve read science fiction set in the far future that used current day slang, pop phrases I’m pretty sure will be dead and buried long before that future arrives. For example, I’m reading one book populated with spaceships and space stations, and was jarred when one of the characters used the phrase “you go, girl.” Now I’ll admit this phrase has been around for a while, and may hang around for a while yet, but it’s already in decline, used these days mostly as a punch line in TV comedies or to make the person saying it appear unhip.

Maybe this doesn’t bother anyone else, but contemporary slang in non-contemporary settings just irks me.

What about you?


 P.S. If the writer is deliberately doing this to have fun, for example, A Knight’s Tale, then that’s different.

Source: Tumblr

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Insecure Writer and Forgetting ISWG Blog Post Day

Today is February's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

Why am I an Insecure Writer this month?

Because I forgot this was the first Wednesday in February, which means my IWSG post is due.  Arg!!!!

My only excuse is that it’s been a busy week for me, writing-wise.  My monthly SCBWI meeting was on Saturday, I met with one of my critique groups on Monday evening, and my other critique group meets tomorrow night. At least I'm keeping busy.

Thank goodness the IWSG supplies an optional question to answer every month.

What do you love about the genre you write in most often? 

I write fantasy for the same reason I read it.  The sense of wonder. I love escaping to worlds different from the one I live in.  But it's not just about escapism. I love how fantasy (and science fiction) trigger my imagination, letting me see and experience things that would never happen in real life (or at least not in my lifetime).

I enjoy reading mysteries and thrillers too, but wrap them in a fantasy setting and those stories just seem to pop for me.

My IWSG post is kind of short today, but that just means you all have more time to visit the other writers in this blog hop.

So go forth and read! 

And don't forget to stop by this month's co-hosts.  Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia, Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte!