I apologize for incorrectly naming my earlier post Thesaurus Thursday (the one where I threaten Heather and then, Ocean Girl totally pointed out that she was there for the thesaurus post, fans keep you on your toes, don't they?). I decided last night to put up two posts today because Meijer.com and I were in a brawl. I won of course. I always win. So, here is the relevant post:
Lazily expanding my vocabulary one commentary's synonym at a time.
Since I write picture books, I am used to keeping things simple: a red fish, a blue baseball cap, a green tree. When I get into my middle grade projects, I
through? throw in the occasional violet and teal. In my YA WIP's I try and keep using the same rule: If it's in a Crayola 48, it's okay.
Lately, I have seen authors really stretch the color thing. Cerulean, which happens to be one of my favorite colors, is popping up everywhere. Purple mountain's majesty, I mean come on. What tipped me over the edge on this subject was reading the ocean described as azure. Are you serious? Azure? Why not cyan or tell your reader the color of the ocean is the color of azurite hanging around your neck? I know azure is blue, but my thirteen year old niece looked at me with her head off kilter when I asked her if she knew what it was. As twenty-something, thirty-something, or whatever age you are, writers, we have to take in to consideration the fact that teens don't know what azure is.
There is an infinite number of words to have the same discussion on. There is a good argument to make for using such words, prompting teens to learn new words. But, azure?
What words do you find yourself using, but find yourself wondering if it is too much? Do you keep them anyway or do you eventually replace them after your sixth revision and you can clearly attribute you inability to sleep to word #1327 of chapter 7: azure.