ofWho of us doesn't love a little world building? After all, that's why we read and write what we do. Imaginations, get ready to run wild! :D
However, even our imaginary worlds can be full of potholes, most of which we created ourselves in an attempt to be Overly Fancy. Oops!
Book blogger Vonda N. McIntyre over at Book View Cafe posted a helpful article on one of the traps to avoid: silly neologisms (or in layman's terms, funky made up words in your fantasy world.)
Ms. McIntyre points out that calling a rabbit a "smeerp" doesn't make it any more alien, and makes you look like a bit of a regular, earth-breed "doofus" rather than adding depth to your story.
I have to admit, I've read a few fantasy/sci fi books where someone uses a fancy-pants alien word for something I later find out is..... bread. It's disappointing. And then after that, distracting.
As we know, every fantasy has to have some made up words, but my question is this:
When is it okay to use your own terms, and when does it get goofy?
Is food/travel/time okay, or should it be reserved for names and places alone?
What is your favorite successful made up fantasy/sci fi word?
Any that drive you crazy?
My favorite made up word to date is: Frak. Fake cursewords are always fun! :D
What about you?