JB and I work with our church's youth group and sometimes I'm surprised at the words they don't know yet. Which is totally fine because they're in high school or middle school and I'm a word nerd who's got a college degree and a good 10 years on them.
At the same time, you're never supposed to write down to a YA audience, which is why I'm waffling on a few words that've popped up in my manuscript. Do I keep them or do they need the axe?
invective: a vehement or violent denunciation
In my story: She was about to unleash a stream of invective when she heard someone call her name sharply.
kismet: fate or destiny
In my story: "The assistant news editor we hired in the spring decided to transfer to a different school over the summer, so it was kismet when you e-mailed me looking for a job."
contingent: dependent on something not yet certain
In my story: "I’m pretty sure that me getting attacked is contingent on whether or not I meddle again."
tessellating: form or arrange in a checkered or mosaic pattern
In my story: ...she could only see slashes of black, frantically cutting the sky above into frenzied, tessellating slices.
OK, I think this sentence might be overwritten.
vehemently: impassioned, with strong emotion
In my story: "She's only my mortal enemy," Calla Mae said, vehemently biting the end off her pickle.
Diana Ross: uh, yeah. Super-famous singer from the 60s, 70s and 80s. But do today's teens know who she is?
In my story: Her hair, dark and curly anyway, was rapidly reaching Diana Ross-like proportions in the sticky heat.
Holy crap am I so old I'm making Diana Ross references? I feel like my parents must feel when they talk about the Lawrence Welk Show and my sister and I just give them blank stares.
I'd appreciate any comments or insight. Really, all of these words could be axed and the story would be fine. It's just...so hard to let go of those lovely big words.