In a huge amount of the books I read the author has coined a little term to help them describe something, or an onomatopoeia. Like:
Kindish (adding -ish to the end of a existing word)
Elfness (adding -ness to the end of an existing (race name) word)
Hobbit-like (very common. Adding a dash and then 'like')
There are probably others which I can't think of right now.
I see this all the time in the texts I look at. I obviously still know what they mean, and it has quite a good effect in the writing. I like it, to be honest.
To what extent can this be done before you fail to be understood?
When is an appropriate time to use this technique?
I'm planning on coining a bit of a term: 'tonitrious'. I want to make a madman use this while enjoying the lightning and thunder way too much. I just turned tonitrus an adjective. I think having this crazy word that originated from Latin gives a weird,
lunatic(ish/-like, haha) maddening feeling.
I seriously doubt that my readers, considering my target audience is 13-16 will have heard of 'tonitrus'. It's pretty funny actually, because I'm in that age range. However, I know for a fact that other people won't know it. Do you think I'll get away with it?
"Oh, deafening sky! Tonitrious night!"
That's the kind of way I might use it.