Archive | 9:43 am

Words in Romance Novels

10 Jan

I’ve been reading romance novels since I was probably ten years old. I began with Harlequin and progressed to Historical novels. I always knew more history than other kids when it came to words and history because of the sneaking I did to read my mom’s books. Lately something has been bothering me. I don’t feel that I’m learning new words any more. Yes, I learn made up words or occasionally I’ll learn words in other languages, but on the whole not to much new is going on.

Yesterday I went to a used book exchange shop in town and picked up some books that I’d read years ago but wanted on my bookshelf. I lucked out because the store was selling all historical romances for 50¢. I bought Amanda Scott, Julie Garwood, and Jude Deveraux in addition to a few modern books. I started the Amanda Scott book and immediately noticed words I did not know-big words that challenged me. Tomorrow I’m going to post a Thursday 13 with the words so I won’t bore you now. The point I’d like to make is that many contemporary and paranormal books neglect to challenge the reader with vocabulary.

I understand that not everybody likes to be introduced to new words. I’m also the queen of “why use a big word if a small word will suffice?” Yet I wonder if there is more. Is it done on purpose because the editor doesn’t think the reader will understand? Is it the writer’s choice? Is it an attempt to raise sales with the hope that people don’t want a challenge when they read their romance novels?

I don’t know the answer. Do you?