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Stephanie Tyler | LOOK IT UP

Hey Everyone!

Great to be invited back to the Fresh Fiction blog.

I was always an avid reader - in school, for pleasure, the backs of cereal boxes if nothing else was available, I would read anything and everything I could get my hands on. This included a biography of Linda Lovelace that I was much to young to read - and thankfully, to comprehend - plus many historical romances that had quite a number of sex scenes. Oh, and the VC Andrews books, which I really think are a rite of passage.

But I digress.

Anyway, whenever I’d get to a point in a book where there was a word I couldn’t figure out in context, I’d ask my mother, what does this mean? Inevitably, she would say, look it up

Now today, when I read, I still look up things I don’t understand, aren’t familiar with, etc. But it’s interesting when I go through copy edits, because my CE will often point out some things and say,will readers be familiar with this / know what it means?

The answer? Maybe. But if it’s something that I can’t explain (ie, if it’s in a character’s conversation and he’s not going to think, we’re going to the Landing Zone, but rather, we’re going to the LZ, then I do not explain.) Because I’m hoping that if people are confused by it, they’ll head over to my site and look on the glossary and google it or whatever.

I know - maybe it might pull you out of a book. But so might a word like hyperbole (I use that as an example because this summer, my husband asked me what it meant while he was reading. I did not tell him to look it up - I just told him what it meant)

So to me, when a book gives me unfamiliar terms, I kind of like it, look at it as a way to learn. On the flipside, I guess I can see how it can frustrate readers.

What do you think - when you come across something unfamiliar, do you look it up if you can’t figure it out from context or does it yank you right out of the book? One commenter will win their choice of a book from my backlist, which includes Hard to Hold and Too Hot to Hold. But not Hold on Tight, cause that releases Tuesday!

Click to see contest prize




47 comments posted.

Re: Stephanie Tyler | LOOK IT UP

Love the sound of this series, Stephanie! Congrats on all the success!

I have to know instantly how something works or what something means even if I'm in the middle of an intense scene. I haunt wikipedia, lol
(Amber Leigh Williams 2:11am January 26, 2010)

I don't stop in the middle of reading to
look up words I'm not sure of, I just
read on. I might however recall that
word and look it up later when I'm not

Stephanie thanks for blogging with us!
(Sue Ahn 2:34am January 26, 2010)

if i come across something unfamiliar, i usually just keep going with the story unless it keeps bugging me to the point where i can't concentrate anymore then yup i look it up. if not and i remember it later, i'll look it up on my spare time just for curiousity's sake.

congrats on the release stephanie :)
(Michelle Santiago 3:16am January 26, 2010)

sometimes I ask hubby if I'm stuck on a word. If he can't give me an answer I'll look it up.
(Shirley Kulesza 5:02am January 26, 2010)

Always am looking it up if I can't understand it. Takes away from the story if you don't want to figure out what it is that the author is trying to portray.
(Joanne Reynolds 6:26am January 26, 2010)

This series sounds really good. Please count me in for the contest. And No it doesnt yank me out of the book. If I really cannot figure it out and it bugs me, I will look it up otherwise I just keep reading. LOL.
(Pat Lieberman 7:36am January 26, 2010)

Your thought process is wonderful. Keep that up!
(Marjorie Carmony 7:40am January 26, 2010)

I've already told you on FB and every blog where I've found you how much I've enjoyed this series, but just let me say again - I LOVE THIS SERIES. It is extremely popular with all my 'book buddies' as well.
As for looking unknown words up, I don't usually stop reading to look it up unless I'm totally lost by not knowing. I will however, look it up later, just to be sure.
As a teacher, I've been known to use those words all kids dread "look it up", but if they are clearly enjoying the book they're reading, I just give the meaning to them. Nothing is sweeter than watching a child enjoy a book. I'm certainly not going to pull them from that to read a dictionary. LOL
Hope everyone has a great day!
(Kara Conrad 8:11am January 26, 2010)

With an eReader it is so easy to look up words that you don't know. However, if it is a "created" word then, yes, I will go to the website to see if the author has a glossary of terms she uses. Either that or I do a search and find in the book to see if it was explained earlier and I missed it.

I am reading Hard to Hold right now and absolutely love it!!!
(Kara Tulanko 8:51am January 26, 2010)

Hi Stephanie,

I've become a word junkie since reading historical novels. I have to look up the word in my dictionary that I have handy with me at all times when I read.
(Armenia Fox 9:19am January 26, 2010)

As long as there are not too many strange words I look them up I find books with its own list of words meaning hard going as you have to keep referring to the list all the time and keeping the story flowing is difficult.
(Barbara Hanson 9:36am January 26, 2010)

I keep reading usually the pieces come together the longer I read it or think about it.
(Sherry Russell 9:57am January 26, 2010)

It depends. Sometimes I look it up, but usually I can figure it out if I keep reading.
(Saundra McKenzie 10:10am January 26, 2010)

If I don't know what a word is I look it up to find out what it means and how to pronounce it. Then I go right back to reading. If it is a slang word like using initials instead of spelling it out,I don't bother trying to find out what that is.
(Leni Kaye 10:15am January 26, 2010)

Hi Stephanie. Congratulations on the release of Hold On Tight. Sounds great.
I will look up words that are unfamiliar to me to see what they mean. They don't take me out of the story.
(Crystal Broyles 11:37am January 26, 2010)

I think it depends on how busy I am. If on that day I have only a little time to read than I don't bother looking it up. When I know I have a lot of time to read than I will take the time to look it up.
(Cherie Japp 11:37am January 26, 2010)

Congrats on your new release! As for things I do not understand, I try to find out, sometimes by just asking someone else... but nothing stops me from reading the rest of it!
(Colleen Conklin 12:50pm January 26, 2010)

I will look up a word or term I don't understand. But, if that happens too often in a story, I put the book down.
(Karin Tillotson 1:05pm January 26, 2010)

I look up words when trying to make them when challenged in Scrabble. In writing, usually I go with the intention of the sentence and figure out the meaning in context. I like the challenge of rare words and guessing. For kids, when learning to read, if they reach 3 fingers of unknown words on the page, they are beyond their comprehension and need assistance of a dictionary or live person.
(Alyson Widen 1:14pm January 26, 2010)

I LOVE to find a new word or phrase! I stop to look it up when I can and when I can't, I write it down - on paper or in my mind - to look up later. The most I've ever had to do this was when I was reading Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil (GREAT book). I learned a LOT about Savannah and Georgia AND new words!!
(Kelli Jo Calvert 1:14pm January 26, 2010)

ps - I just finished Hard To Hold and will start Too Hot To Hold today. LOVED Hard To Hold!!
(Kelli Jo Calvert 1:14pm January 26, 2010)

I usually don't stop in the middle of reading to look up an unfamiliar word but I might later if I remember.
(Cheryl Bradley 1:20pm January 26, 2010)

Congrats on your success! I always look things up to make sure I know what the mean. It's a great way to keep learning!
(Laura Steinbacher 1:48pm January 26, 2010)

You're speaking from my heart, Stephanie. I've been an inveterate "looker upper" my whole life and then it usually doesn't stop with that word alone: I'll read at least a few of the terms close to it, or anything else that catches my eye. It's never unfamiliar words that really pull me out of a story. It's bad grammar or syntax.
(Sigrun Schulz 2:00pm January 26, 2010)

Hi, Stephanie! The "Hard to Hold Trilogy" is fantastic! I loved "Hard to Hold", and it would be super to win a copy of "Too Hot to Hold" : ) If I am not sure of the meaning of a word or pharse which is intrinsic to the story line, then I will look it up. I think it greatly reduces the reading pleasure if you don't understand what you're reading about! Your website is great, so many goodies for readers!
(Ginger Campbell 3:52pm January 26, 2010)

I seldom look any thing up, preferring to use context. I seldom feel that it is necessary to know the exact definition of a word to understand what is going on.
(Anne Jones 3:57pm January 26, 2010)

Happy Release Day, Stephanie. When I come across something unfamiliar I do go look it up. It doesn't really yank me out of the story.
(Jane Cheung 4:08pm January 26, 2010)

I have your first two "Hold" books and can't wait to read them. I will get the other one as soon as it warms up a bit. I don't usually look up a word, I just keep reading. That is unless it is driving me crazy and the sentence doesn't make sense.
(Judy Anderson 4:26pm January 26, 2010)

....always look it up...that's just how I roll - and after the day I have had I really need something TOO HOT to HOLD!
(Danelle Drake 4:44pm January 26, 2010)

It varies. I'd like to say I always look it up...but sometimes I make an educated guess and just keep reading.
(G S Moch 4:54pm January 26, 2010)

I actually run into a lot of terms ,especially in military reads, that I don't know. I've seen some authors will have a glossary and I have used them. It doesn't bother me if I don't know a word and I may Google it. Good luck on your release!! Thanks, Sue
(Susan Hussein 5:26pm January 26, 2010)

If I come across something unfamiliar, I
look it up. :) I also have a habit of
stopping mid-read to look things up on
maps if I'm not familiar with the locale.
(Vicki Lemonds 5:35pm January 26, 2010)

I rarely look up a unfamiliar word, usually I can figure it out by the context of the story. If I'm really stumped and it's something vital to the story, I will look it up.
(Theresa Buckholtz 6:40pm January 26, 2010)

I am a big fan of wikipedia. I look everything up online now.
(Vikki Parman 7:26pm January 26, 2010)

I have a fairly good vocabulary, but whether or not I take time to look up a word in a book that I don't know the meaning of varies. Perhaps time is a factor. Often I can take a fairly educated guess as to the meaning of the word. But too many what I call "seventy-five cent words in a story or article will cause me to say, "Forget this." I will never forget the saying, "An educated person isn't one who knows big words, but is one who can explain the subject so that anyone can understand it."
(Gladys Paradowski 9:17pm January 26, 2010)

Congrats on your new release! I sat in my car unpatiently today waiting for the bookstore to open so I could run in to get it today!!!

When I am not sure what a word means I always look it up. Why?
1. Because I want to know the meaning of it.
2. I don't want to get stumped by it again.
(Lisa Glidewell 9:52pm January 26, 2010)

Hi Stephanie,
I love when an author uses words that I don't know. I take it as a opportunity to learn something new.

Hey, I also was a cereal box and food label reader when I was a kid. I still am.
(Gigi Hicks 9:55pm January 26, 2010)

I definitely look things up. I don't find I lose momentum in the story. In fact I feel it enriches it.
(Mary Preston 10:01pm January 26, 2010)

Congrats on the new release. I just love
military men!!
(MaryAnne Banks 10:13pm January 26, 2010)

If my sister is near I will ask her what something means if not I move on. If I think about it later I will ask her or look it up or sometimes type the word into Word and look at synonyms.
I was also a cereal box reader as a kid and I remember reading Dr No when I was about 11. Not appropriate, maybe, but my parents always encouraged us kids to read and I still have wonderful memories of reading Golden Books with my Mom and Dad at bedtime.
(Elizabeth Mitchell 10:41pm January 26, 2010)

No it doesn't bother me to
stop and look up a word or a
place. I frequently will stop
and look up an area or city if
I'm not familiar with it. Now
I don't want to be stopping
too often to do that but I
like the opportunity to learn
more about a place or incident
that is mentioned in a book.
(Lisa Richards 11:41pm January 26, 2010)

I'm always looking things up to find out waht they meny or to help me spell word that i do not know how to spell.
(Stacey Smith 12:12pm January 27, 2010)

Some Authors have a glossary and I always try to familiarize myself with that before I start the book. As for looking up a word in the middle of reading it depends how into the book I am if I'll look it up at that moment or when I get to the end of the chapter. But I think I'm the only one here who hasn't read the series and I intend to remedy that right away. I look forward to starting.
Carol L.
(Carol Luciano 9:56am January 27, 2010)

Great contest
(April Strength 12:26pm January 27, 2010)

Truly depends on how much it bugs me. That is why there is GOOGLE>
(Patty Heerdink 4:45pm January 27, 2010)

Your series sounds very hot! I do look up terms I'm not familiar with and I've always told my sons to do the same.
(LaRonda Atchison 8:30pm January 27, 2010)

I love it when a novel challenges my vocabulary...after all that is how we learn and expand our horizons. I one of those that looks it up and love doing it!!! Congrats on your new release!!!
(Mitzi Hinkey 10:58pm January 28, 2010)

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