Writers make things up. And sometime even non-fiction writers do it, although that is generally frowned upon by publishers unless you let them know ahead of time you’re doing it (and even after it’s discovered, you can very occasionally get away with it at least for a while if you write a book that is famous and/or influential enough. Examples: Pulitzer Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu and sorry-to-burst-your-bubble Alex Haley of Roots fame.)
Readers appreciate a heads-up signal to let them know, look, there’s some fictionalizing going on here. I recently did that in my co-authored non-fiction book, Discovering the City of Sodom, when I depicted the four traditional views on something by letting some (well-labeled) fictionalized characters, who exemplified those views, dramatize them in dialogue.
But fiction writers – ah, we get to make things up all the time.
And at the micro level, we get to make up words. By so doing, we are following in the footsteps of none less than William Shakespeare, who according to Shakespeare Online invented over 1700 words (many of which I thought were quite modern such as zany, amazement, and cater, for example.)
I’m working on a suspense novel co-written with a friend. In it, I have a 16-year-old girl who uses great “new” words that are actually in use by the daughters of a friend of mine. Like, “teenagery.” And my favorite: “handitizer.”
Help me out, here, readers. Have any of your teenage friends or family taught you any new words that I can abduct for my WIP?