What’s the scariest word a parent can hear? I’d have to say it is ‘Uh-oh’ That small, soft, almost non-word two syllable sound could almost be considered as bad as the loudest yelled cuss. Because, it can mean anything. Jack is almost two and a half, and whenever I hear deadly silence interrupted only by a muttered ‘Uh-oh’ my immediate thought is ‘Oh crap, what now?’ Luckily at the moment, it usually indicates a tipped over drink bottle (which I also know is happening when he tells me it’s ‘rainin‘), it could be a toy in the bin, clean clothes pulled out of the cupboard, or even a fresh poo on the floor. Dealable.
I imagine within the next few years ‘Uh-oh’ could mean crayon on the walls, the dog has escaped, rotten fruit discovered in the bottom of a backpack, or butterflies hatching in bedrooms. Maybe after that it might come to mean things a little more serious like, Mum’s car is stuck in a ditch, burn holes in the curtains, or missing beers from Dad’s stash have been noticed.
I guess my point with this post – apart from talking about how cute my kid is and no matter what we do they are always going to grow up and make all new mistakes to what we did – is that about language. You don’t always need big words or explanations to get your point across, and that’s what I aim for with my own writing. Everyone likes different genres and styles for their own reasons. I have always been a huge reader, yet if I was to choose to study a particular country, I’d most likely search through junior non-fiction rather that adult. Why? It still contains correct information, not too much extra crap, set out aesthetically pleasantly, and often contains more interesting facts and tidbits, not to mention pictures!
If someone chooses to read nothing but Mills and Boon novels, why bag them? Not everyone has to like everything, but I think people often should find a way to agree to disagree. Escapism is arguably the top reason most people choose to read, so their area would be their choice.
I have read ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ at least seven times since I was the age of about 11. I understood more and more of it each time I read it, but bottom line, it entertains me. It is also a well-recognised literary great. At the same time, I also enjoy a good trashy magazine full of celebrity gossip. Escapism.
What I aim for with my own writing is simple language within a non- complicated story-line, yet at the same time keeping the reader interested and invested. Similar to Jack’s explanatory ‘Uh-oh’. I will be adding some of my recent brainstorms to some fanfic sites, I’ll post links on here when that is done, and if any of you are interested, you can let me know if you think I am achieving my goal!
I hope in later years, Jack’s ‘Uh-oh’ may turn out to mean he spent too much on mum’s birthday present, he’s kicked too many goals at footy, or he’s figured out how to work the washing machine. I only hope it doesn’t turn out to be ‘Uh-oh, I accidentally kicked out the plug on Mum’s life support…’