Our Right As Writers

Posted: October 4, 2012 in Discussions, On Writing
Tags: , , ,

It’s a little strange to me that as writers, we are sometimes able and completely allowed to come up with words that don’t exist, and use them correctly within our writing.

For example, in a story I wrote a few months back, I wanted to describe how a young woman’s cheeks looked after being outside in the winter cold for quite some time. Red didn’t fit, neither did pink, or blushed, or flushed, or reddened, so instead I created a word that felt just right, “rosied” (pronounced rose-E-d, meaning: reddened, or having turned red/pink). You see, even though (to me) it means the same as “reddened”, the word “reddened” just didn’t sound right. Spell check told me that there was no such word as “rosied” in the english language, but it was too right to change. I felt that if I removed that word, it threw off the whole paragraph. As a writer, I just couldn’t have that, simply because the word I wanted to use doesn’t technically have a place in the english dictionary.

I will continue to use this word, just so you all know, and I’ll rally for its place in the widely accepted English Dictionary. I mean, hell, if slang can end up in the dictionary, then why can’t our created words?

I’ve seen it many times in published authors’ writings, and I believe Stephen King mentions it in what I’m beginning to feel I am making you all think is my “Bible of Writing”, On Writing: A Memoir of The Craft. I’m not entirely sure I read this in that particular book, but the writer acknowledged that as a writer we are allowed to invent new words, and it’s generally acceptable.

How many of you do the same thing? How often have you been cruising along in your writing when your word processor tells you that a word you’ve used technically does not exist? And how many of you have ignored the self-righteous “Spell Check”? Let me know some words you’ve come up with and used quite confidently in your writing.

Oh and the spell check on this blog also told me “rosied” is not a word. =]

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