Talk:483: Fiction Rule of Thumb

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Also, you get minus points if you have to add a totally reading-flow rupturing explanation. And if the words which supposedly come from one language have completely different linguistic structure. And for random apostrophes. And if you cannot read the book without a wordlist for constant reference next to you. Rule of thumb #2: if it's not clear from the context or from a smooth, unobtrusive explanation* and/or if the reader has to go back the second time it is mentioned to remember what it was, don't use it.

Exception to this: Terry Prachett. How the hell can that guy make funny literature out of annoyingly large footnotes?? 09:14, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

I know an author who made up words and still turned out well! His name is Andrew Hussie, creator of Homestuck. Captchalogue, Sylladex, Alchemiter, Cruxite, Respiteblock, Recuperacoon, Cookalizer, Fenestrated Wall, you name it! (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Well one, that's a webcomic, not a book. Two, most of these words are portamntus (Captcha + Catalogue = Captchalogue, Recuperate + Cocoon = Recuperacoon). And while this is certainly a nice observation, it doesn't really contribute to the discussion since the page is not really about Homestuck.--Edrobot (talk) 19:42, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Dune comes to mind... 07:07, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Interesting that Randall omitted Shakespeare from the list of people allowed to make up words. Shakespeare used 17,677 different words in all of his known works. About 10% of those words are words that he made up and are now technically official English (includes changing parts of speech for existing words) 21:45, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

I believe that Shakespeare didn't invent 1700 words, although they were at one point attributed to him as earliest known use - especially in the days when searches for early examples were done by hand. Today in many cases earlier examples have since been found. IO9 has an article about it
There is also the fact that while some of his plays are the earliest (surviving) example of a word, most of those words must have been known to the public. I can't imagine people going to a performance where they don't recognise a tenth of the words. 01:03, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
What's the problem?
If you can make up a story you should be able to make up words. A much worse problem is when an author thinks describing scenery is part of the story. And when women stop in mid paragraph to describe clothing... Feck that!
Making up a word or two to get around shit like that is OK. It is only hand-waving a ghost out from the machine. Asimov was terrible for that crap in his early work. He grew out of it, in a manner of speaking, recognising there was a time and place.

there are many exceptions to this rule... Jhereg, for example. 10:43, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

I'm surprised that A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess hasn't been mentioned. It is regularly featured in 'Top 100 Books' lists, but features its own language, Nadsat. --Pudder (talk) 11:28, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

I think a lot of comments here are based on missunderstanding. The CHANCE that the book is good is lower. It doesn't mean "more made up words" -> "worse book". 21:48, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

What about Animorphs? There are quite a few made-up words there, and Randall is a fan of Animorphs. Why is Animorphs not mentioned in the title text? 16:59, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

Well, writing from Italy here... Dante's Divina Commedia is largely acknowledged as containing tons of made-up words and then-weird sentences that are now common sayings in Italian. And we're talking about one of the world's greatest literature masterpieces ever :) does that count as an exception?