Author Topic: making up new words  (Read 9979 times)

Offline jldelozier

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making up new words
« on: July 29, 2017, 04:02:52 PM »
Anyone ever made up a new word, or modified an existing word, to meet their needs, and if so, what was your editor's response? Did it survive the slash-and-burn? For some reason, in my current WIP, I found myself creating one new word and modifying another, changing it from an adjective to a non-existent verb form: "He groaned, ran a shaking hand through his hair, and herkey-jerked his way around the room in a random fashion." It seem so concise and descriptive (as opposed to: "he moved around the room herkey-jerkey") that I hate to kill my darling.

Any thoughts on this practice?
Jen

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Offline Tabris

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Re: making up new words
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2017, 06:05:29 PM »
I've done it. My editor slashes it out and I put it back in.

As long as it's totally understandable in context, leave it as-is. That's how new words get invented.

Offline Tabris

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Re: making up new words
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2017, 06:49:42 PM »
Groot: I am Groot.
Peter Quill: Well that's just as fascinating as the first 89 times you told me that. What is wrong with Giving Tree here?
Rocket Raccoon: Well he don't know talkin' good like me and you, so his vocabulistics is limited to "I" and "am" and "Groot," exclusively in that order.
Peter Quill: Well I tell you what, that's gonna wear real thin, real fast, bud.

Offline jldelozier

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Re: making up new words
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2017, 07:29:08 PM »
Quote
Rocket Raccoon: Well he don't know talkin' good like me and you, so his vocabulistics...
;D
I saw the movie, but I must've missed that one. Nice. And thanks for the response.
Jen

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Offline Tabris

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Re: making up new words
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2017, 08:23:05 PM »
Quote
Rocket Raccoon: Well he don't know talkin' good like me and you, so his vocabulistics...
;D
I saw the movie, but I must've missed that one. Nice. And thanks for the response.

It's when they're being checked into the prison. There's a lot of infodumping going on while some hilarious stuff is taking place on screen to keep you interested. The whole technique in that sequence is amazing.

Offline Sarah Ahiers (Falen)

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Re: making up new words
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2017, 07:44:12 AM »
I say leave it in. The meaning is clear, and it's clever and brings voice to the sentence.

If your editor wants to cut it, then you just have a conversation with them.
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Offline Munley

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Re: making up new words
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2017, 10:14:03 AM »
Press on, friend, with any new words or word combos that fit your story.

Some day we'll find web pages on your neologisms like this page on words we got from Lewis Carroll:

https://jeanfischer.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/modern-words-that-came-from-lewis-carrolls-jabberwocky/