"There was a book out a time ago, called “Roman Soldiers Don’t Wear Watches” which was about movie mistakes that you find in period films, such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, where in one scene you can see a man in t-shirt and jeans in the crowd. http://www.moviemistakes.com/picture13357. Kinda weird seeing that with all the other people around him in proper desert-wear, right?
Writing a fantasy fairy tale was a challenge, not in the execution of the story itself, but the world-building and within that world-building, the creation of language. I don’t mean I created my own language, although I slipped in a few made-up words here and there, but I mean how the cadence of the dialogue and word choice transports (I hope) the reader to the fantasy land of the story.
Going back to Raiders, seeing that guy in the t-shirt sauntering along may ruin the period feel of the film. In the same way, the wrong word choice will jerk your readers out of the story. In writing The Wisest Maiden, I made the conscious decision to have no contractions in the book. Short of using “thee” and “thou” this was a way of making the speech of the characters formal and polite. I also used no slang. The king doesn’t tell his subjects to “Relax” or “Take a chill pill”. Not that he would be so inclined to do so anyway!
Word choice was another decision I made--with the help of my editor--during the editing process. In order to lend a more archaic tone to the story, I replaced words such as “gorgeous” or “sexy” because they wouldn’t be appropriate for the “once upon a time” feel of the fairy tale. Instead, I used words such as “ripe” and “luscious”, words that conveyed the king’s intense feeling for his soon-to-be-bride without using modern words that may yank the reader out of the spell that I’m trying to weave. I opted to use more formal, and at times awkward, language to keep the readers in the “long ago and far away” mood.
Note the difference between the two phrases:
“Don’t touch me. Save it for the wedding night, King.”
“Preserve your caresses for your wedding night, King.”
Both convey the same basic meaning, but the second sounds like it belongs in a fairy tale. The word choice puts you “there”.
Thank you, Dahlia. I look forward to reading this story. Readers, the book she's speaking of The Wisest Maiden...
Betrayed by his first wife, King Toridesh gives his new brides no chance to deceive him. After he marries a virgin of his choosing and consummates the marriage, he has them killed.
As an only child, Issalia has been sheltered by her parents in an attempt to shield her from their king’s murderous intent. When her mother falls ill, Issalia refuses to allow their market-stall to be closed for the day, knowing this one day of income stands between them and poverty.
While in disguise, the king spies the lovely Issalia in the marketplace and takes her as his next bride. Will Issalia succumb to the fate of the virgin brides before her, or will she be able to break the king’s curse?
It can be bought on Amazon and All Romance Ebooks.