Because Margo Lanagan is one of the best writers I know, and is wonderful in every way, and has written two of the best short story collections ever published (White Time and Black Juice)—I should probably follow her rules of writing to the letter.
But, see, she has this list of banned words and every one of those words sings to me:
obsidian* (Margo says, “only okay when used to describe arrowheads”.)
roiling* (Margo says, “must be used with care”.)
There are heaps more but I can’t remember the rest. Help me out, Margo? Margo’s Clarion students?
Update: *Are Margo Lanagan additions to the list.
Ever since I heard of the existence of Margo’s banned words list it has become my goal in life to use every single one of them whenever possible. (I’m proud to say that one of the chapter titles in Magic or Madness is “Maelstrom”.) I can’t tell you what a difference it makes to have such a noble purpose. It was like being reborn.
Thank you, Margo! You’ve not only given me wonderful works to read, but a purpose in life.
And maybe I can inspire all of you in turn to start accreting wondrous corruscating volumes of words whilst smelling the sweet sweet sweet jasmine that is succour to all us arty writer types . . .
Write well, little angels, write well!