Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Way back when, years ago, I attended a seminar on customer service. One of the key points the instructor made was that industry professionals have their own language. It doesn't matter what the industry is, certain terms are used in house that the average Joe won't understand.

I was a banker back then and to demonstrate the point the instructor rattled off a few sentences liberally sprinkled with abbreviations, industry buzz words and financial terms. She sounded very polished and knowledgeable. Then she did the same thing, but used terms common to the medical industry. You could see eyes glaze over. What did a bunch of bankers know about medicine? Not a hell of a lot.

My point is that writers have industry language. We use it to communicate with other writers and to share tips on craft. Novice writers need to learn this language. It adds a huge degree of professionalism to your interactions with people in the industry.

A corollary to this point is to watch that your creative writing sounds authentic. Make sure your characters talk the way they should and sound real. A banker should sound like a banker and a doctor like a doctor.

Keep it real.

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