Before I get any further into this blog post, let me just clarify: Sumo does NOT have competition. My new pet is not another furry sidekick. It’s a word.
And it’s not just any word. It’s “tenebrous” [Ten–uh-bruh s].
How did “tenebrous” come to be my pet? Well, here’s the story:
During the review process for Reflection: Harbinger of the Phoenix, there was a comment that every single one of my beta readers made to me. That was: “I’ve never heard of this word.” Now, it’s safe to say that my beta readers know their way around a library. They are definitely well-read people. I knew going in that “tenebrous” was an usual word, but I didn’t think it was that obscure.
There were even suggestions that I take it out and replace it with a word more people would be familiar with.
Oh, the horror!
I take my beta readers’ suggestions very seriously. I don’t want to use uncommon words that will annoy my readers or take their focus away from the story itself. However, I decided to stand firm on this one.
Why is “tenebrous” so neglected? It is much more interesting to see on a page than its bleak (and overused) cousins “dark” and “gloomy.” It sounds so beautiful when read aloud, as if connoting the elegance and mystery that darkness can hold. Why should its cousins get all the love?
So, I kept it and made it my pet word. Its only one word, dear readers. Time to expand the vocabulary just a tiny bit.
I’d be thrilled to hear in the comments from others who have come across my lovely pet in action. And, if you decide to use it in your own writings, definitely let me know–and leave a link so we can spread the love!
PS- For those of you who plan to read Reflection: Harbinger of the Phoenix, look for tenebrous in Chapter 2-Encounter with Destiny! Be sure to say hello when you see it. ^_-