Cyro told me to talk about Blogga-blogga.  I’m not sure what that is.  But hey, it’s a post right?

Alright, let’s cut into something that actually does matter that “blogga-blogga” reminds me of: nonsense words. 

[Writer’s Stuff] [About Cat Hartliebe]
As a writer… Scratch that.  As a creative writer, <This is a big difference.> nonsense words have a place in my writing.  I’ll write in ‘hm’ or ‘bam’ or ‘splat’.  Because if I don’t, I’m writing what sounds like nonsense without using any nonsense words.  You know what I mean when I say ‘hm’.

It’s kinda a hum, but not really where the soft h sounds progresses into a almost inaudible m.  <What?!>

I’ll just write: She says, “Hm…”  or she hms.  Which according to Word isn’t a real word.  And it’s not.  But the reader knows what ‘hm’ means.  They can hear the sound of the person.  As long as accents, tone, and personality are already stable in the reader’s head, they can hear the character literally hm at them.  I hm all the time.  Normally to help me think.  It’s white noise to drown out other sounds.

‘Bam’ is another that makes more sense than writing the entire nonsense sentence.  Although sometimes when you need a long pause to further impact this may not be the best bet.  The hammer bams against the wall incessantly.  The hammer hits the wall in a rhythmic pattern that makes my ears want to bleed.  No… that’s not the same.  Hm…  <Hey, I used that hm in my writing.>  It sounds more like a drumbeat but without the musical accompaniment.  Yeah…no… I’m not getting what I want.  I like to say ‘bam’.  I don’t use it a lot, since I don’t write scenes with ‘bam’ing, but I won’t refrain from it.  Same with ‘splat’.  A five year old knows what splat is.  It explains something in a very short, concise way.

Short, clear, and concise is the best way to write in general.  Extra words can help when the need to portray something is there.  Extra words aren’t really bad.  But if you have a lot of extra words, people will skim.  Or they will stop reading.  Or seek the next big thing in the writing.  I know.  I’ve done that.  Even in creative pieces.  I’ve skimmed creative writing.

Readers can get bored.  Hm, splat, bam are not only good for describing quickly.  They pull in something that non creative writing doesn’t have.  You shouldn’t see a historical text saying ‘splat’.  <If it does, it falls into historical fiction/non-fiction.>

There aren’t any real rules with writing.  There are plenty of long winded books people adore.  But make sure you match up to the story’s power.  Long winded writing isn’t for kids.  Or even for people who want a book as easy as a kid’s book.  <When I say fluffy romance, I want the adult contexts with the ease of reading of a kid’s book.  As well as the definitive happy ever after.>

So for my child to tell me blogga-blogga, I don’t just tell them that doesn’t exist, never use that word again.  I tag it into my mind: seven year old says, “Blogga-blogga.”  I can see it as a kid trying to scare or shock someone else.  Or as a point of humor.  Or to de-stress the situation.  It would work.  Even if I had a twenty something say it.  It brings forth a piece of the character that wouldn’t necessarily be there.  It helps.

Nonsense words can help.  Overuse of them, though hinders just like over use of adverbs, adjectives, and dialogue.  The question being at what point would it be called overuse for your story?  I can write out an entire picture book with nothing besides nonsense words.  It’s been done before.  Most books need much less than 100%, though.  Where does yours fall?

[Writer’s Stuff] [About Cat Hartliebe] [About Cyro Hartliebe]

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