In my role as a genre coordinator in the ACFW First Impressions contest, I check judges’ comments to make sure they don’t promote their own books or make disparaging comments. One comment caught my eye. The entrant used too many big words. Try writing at the fourth grade level.
I remembered that when I did final edits for The Hope of Christmas, the soon-to-be-released collection of historical Christmas short stories. An editor didn’t know the meaning of opined in my story, “Typhoon Prompting.”
Do you know what “opine” means?
I wrestled with that all weekend. I like the word. Otherwise I wouldn’t have used it. But the judge’s remark kept coming back to me. Readers don’t want to hold a book in one hand and a dictionary in the other. What to do?
Early Monday morning, before submitting my edited manuscript, I listened to the judge and changed the word.
The Hope of Christmas is now available for pre-order. Included are a prairie mail-order bride story, a WWII American woman doctor in London, and my offering, “Typhoon Prompting.” A character from Wheresoever They May Be shows up. Care to guess who? I’ll give you a hint. Who suffered a bad case of sunburn?