1. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    Should I simplify my writing for pre-teens?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by cazann34, Nov 27, 2012.

    I am writing a novel for pre-teens because I believe it suits my writing style. My problem/concern is do I need to simplify my words to suit pre-teens? Because I have no pre-teens in my life I find I have no one to ask, so I thought I would send the question out there, into the cyber world of this forum and ask whose who are pre-teens or teenagers or remember the type of books they were able reading at that age to help.

    I am using words like; miraculously, Infuriated, trepidation, methodical, accumulation and grotesque. Are these words too complicated for the range range I am aiming at? Would pre-teens understand the meaning of these words, or would these words put them off from read on.

    Thank you for your help.
     
  2. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Umm this might not the best idea and I might get some stick for suggesting it but..... if you are stuck and writing it in word, why not right click the word and see what the synonyms are.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you clearly need to do your homework before starting to write for an age range you're not familiar with... read/study the top-selling books for the ages you want to write for, in order to learn how to write for them successfully...
     
  4. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    Thank you both for your replies and I hate to sound rude but neither of you answered the question I asked which was:

    I am using words like; miraculously, Infuriated, trepidation, methodical, accumulation and grotesque. Are these words too complicated for the range range I am aiming at?

    Would pre-teens understand the meaning of these words, or would these words put them off from reading on.
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I would think some would some wouldn't. Not all preteens can be categorized.
    Three words they might have trouble with though- trepidation, methodical, and accumulation.
    I would think in this day and age most kids would know the word grostesque. Maybe not
    though. But I do think the others are right. Do some research.
     
  6. Pheonix
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    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

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    I know I knew what those words meant when I was a preteen. But, even now at age 21, most of my friends (older and younger) still don't know what the word 'trepidation' means. At the same time, that's how I learned all those big words, by reading. I'd say, don't dumb it down, but don't write thinks that you think will clearly go over their heads. If I used my friends as a sample, as preteens they wouldn't have had a clue what most of those words meant.

    Maybe test it out on some younger relatives, or like Maia said, do your homework on how other books aimed at that age group are written.
     
  7. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    Thanks everyone for your input. I am going to do some research on vocabulary for pre-teens and see where I may need to dumb down some of my word use. I must say I did have my own doubts but I needed it confirmed.
     
  8. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    If kids, of all ages, weren't challenged once in a while, they'd still be reading Jack and Spot type books. None of those words should be out of the scope of pre-teens, but it all depends on the way you write and not just on the words you use. Most of us faced with a word we've never come across before will work it out by context. Providing your writing as a whole ticks all the grammar and spelling boxes and is clear, precise and interesting, most pre teens will not be fazed and will work it out for themselves. That's the way most of us have always learned.
     
  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm with Pheonix and evelon. Young kids learn by being challenged. If the story is interesting, they'll eat up any vocabulary you present them with. They'll gather the meaning from the context, or they'll ask an adult, or they'll use a dictionary. That's how I learned, and that's how most people I know learned.
     
  10. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    LOL whats the worst anyway, they scratch their head and ask someone what it means and then they learn something. All good.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you do what i advised, you'd find out for yourself if those words would be appropriate age-wise, or not...
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't talk down to your readers.

    I never talked down to my kids, either. I'd explain if they indicated they didn't understand, but they were always exposed to a rich vocabulary.
     
  13. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    With the exception of grotesque, yes, too complicated for general pre-teens. Not all, but general. They all have better alternatives.
     

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