In case you skimmed the title, let me repeat it: my readers are not stupid. I respect them. I have always respected them. And now that I’ve spent the past month at three conventions meeting them face-to-face, I respect them even more. (Oh, and I <3 them, too. Big hugs to all my wonderful readers!)
Why am I compelled to announce this to the world? Because of the worst writing advice I ever received. To be clear, if I disagree with advice, I ignore it and/or promptly forget it. There’s no angst, no second-guessing (right or wrong, my ego is too big for that stuff). And yet I remember this occurrence with the clarity of an HD plasma screen television.
Somebody once told me to ditch the ten dollar words and use ten cent words instead. Yeah, I’ll pause a moment so you can all gasp. I do not now, and will not ever, write DOWN to people. I have far too much respect for my readers than that. They are smart women who deserve to be treated as such.
For the record, I don’t write stuffy, scholarly treatises full of words that need to be sounded out. I don’t say masticate instead of chew. I don’t say perambulate instead of walk. I write rom-com, for crying out loud. Are there multi-syllabic words? Sure. Is there a chance a few of them might not be recognizable to someone? Slim, but yes. And if so, go look ’em up. I say that with no reservation, utterly unapologetically. We’re never too old to learn.
I ignored that advice. I also ignored the urge to fly into a heated rage over the implied insult to my readers’ intelligence. It would’ve been pointless. All I could do was keep writing the way I always have-with a nod of respect for all my smart readers.