Posted in On Writing

Don’t Be Smart

RIP vocabulary

I was recently going through the NaNo Forums and came across a thread on Horrible Writing Tips. In this thread, wrimos can share all the bad writing tips they’ve been given.

Some of bad tips can be twisted into a good light but other tips are not twistable. One of these tips which makes me cringe is “make sure the story is really simple” or “don’t use big words“.

It’s true that no one wants to have a dictionary beside them as they are reading; however, I should not have to bring my writing down to a less intelligent level. As a writer, I try to bring the reader up to my level.

If I write well, the reader should be able to understand a new word from the rest of the sentence. I want readers to extrapolate the meaning of a word so that they grow as a reader. I like challenging readers to learn new words and ideas.

That’s not to say that I purposely choose obscure words that no one will understand. I use words in my writing that I use in my everyday language. For me to use simplistic words, I would have to change who I am. I do not apologize for my vocabulary nor will I apologize for using my vocabulary.


Please note that I tailor my writing to my intended audience. I use more simple words for younger audiences and more complex words for audiences older than fourteen years of age.

As well, for anyone wishing to build their vocabulary, I highly suggest trying word of the day anything. There are websites, apps, calendars, and so much more.


The AP Roberts is an extremely rare creature and there is only one known AP Roberts in the world. Usually off in its own little world, the AP returns to reality when it gets lonely. This elusive creature is rather difficult to catch on film, however will pose for drawings. The AP, though wild by nature, can be tamed and makes a wonderful pet. It should also be known that while the AP gets along with most creatures it has an intense fear of insects and large canines. The AP lives on a diet of mainly vegetables and candy but is not known to refuse food that is made and offered through kindness. The drink of choice for the AP is tea though it is known to drink water and juice. There is still much to be learned of the AP however, most agree that the writings of the AP are truly something to behold. Hopefully, one day the AP will find a good Agent creature who will introduce the AP's writings to a good publisher creature and the world will be able to read the AP's works.

4 thoughts on “Don’t Be Smart

  1. I’ve had people tell me I use too many big words, and I just wonder whether they think there’s a quota of words that adults need to know, and after that, no one should be bothered learning anything new ever. I personally love discovering new words.



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