Can writers use their own invented words?

So actually this is more of a question than a blog, and it’s something I’m really interested in – Can writers make up their own words??

Roald Dahl thought so.

What do other writers think? How do editors feel about it?

Today the word ‘repeatedium’ (as in tedious repetition) came up while I was writing a scene from The Last City 2 (Eli’s POV for anyone who has read it).

I’m sure someone else has come up with the word before, but it’s not in the dictionary – so can I use it? Or is it just annoying for readers?

And here’s Roald Dahl in his writing hut!

Roald Dahl in his Writing Hut c.1990
©Jan Baldwin, courtesy The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre

Picture source:


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2 Responses to Can writers use their own invented words?

  1. Holly says:

    One hundred percent, of course, YES! Make up ALL THE WORDS!
    In the words of Louise Rennison (or more specifically her character Georgia Nicholson), “As I have explained many, many times English is a lovely and exciting language full of sophisticosity.”

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