I was tweaking “Rigger Mortis” this evening and discovered that I’d missed a few events, some of them important ones, or funny ones. I added them in as well as redoing the numbers (putting them into words) and some of the times. I only used military time when I was dealing with the military aspects of the story. Most of the time, though, I used 12-hour time and a.m. and p.m. It’s not so much for my benefit, but for the readers’. The novella may only be for my own family, and most of them know about 24-hour time, but it’s not a way of life for them. I just wanted to make things a bit easier for them.
That’s one of the hard parts about writing, making things as easy as possible for your readers, so that they don’t have to keep doing mental math or looking things up in the dictionary. To be honest? While I have a rather extensive vocabulary and don’t have to resort to the dictionary for most books, I don’t like having to reach for a dictionary if I can’t figure out a meaning by context. My readers may not be as well-versed in the English language, too. And someone wiser than I once said that “Keep it simple, silly”. No, not dumbed down, but don’t use big, fancy words when a regular one will do.