Bow To The People
I had to pay a beta reader because none of the volunteer ones (all 30 of them) didn't get back to me. She had some good edits and some I didn't want to change. But I have to.
You always know what you mean when you are writing. You grew up with certain lingo, catch phrases, and ways of speaking that are familiar to you and seep into your writing (even if you are pompous and think they don't, they do). Your knowledge also leaks in. If you're a military writer, you might use a military phrase thinking it's an everyday phrase but really it's more foreign then you think. I am here to tell you, that that is ok! However, some things are just so obscure, you are not a cool writer if you leave them in.
My offending word was "thong". Now, I don't know how I know this because I don't make a lot of jewelry. It's probably from my days as a Renaissance worker/ enthusiast of medieval things. But a leather thong is that thing pictured above. It is a skinny strip of leather that holds a charm or something making a necklace. A lot of other people know that. But maybe not enough. I had written that a character pulled a cross on the end of a leather thong out from her shirt front and the editor's note was, "why does she have a cross on her underwear and why is she pulling it out?"
Well, I forgot thongs are sexy panties for women. You'll understand why that was NOT my context once you read "Prince of Midwest". I also didn't want to change it to the basic and cringy "leather cord". But I did. I hate changing flavor (if you play RPGs you know what flavor means) as it adds to the feel and mood of the novel. "Prince of Midwest" is a little dark, gritty, and of course a wild west novel! Using the proper words for something is always a better and more aesthetic choice. But you have to write to the people...and the people would imagine Jacque pulling a leather g-string pantie out from her shirt...I can't have that. It's sad, but sometimes you have to bow to the people and give them something they understand.