Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mad Writer's Club Week 5 --Finding Repetitive Phrases

As I'm  sludging through rewrites of my cracked out modernized hockey rewrite of Dangerous Liaisons, I am finding little annoying things. The worst things are little words and phrases used over and over again, they are sort of like... they must be the way my brain narrates naturally and they pour onto the page unfiltered and they MUST BE DESTROYED!

It's embarrassing finding little things like that but hell, just snip em and be done right?

What I am finding is that I have a tendency in rough drafts of describing everything as "a bit". She smiled a bit. He walked a bit. He laughed a bit. He moved forward a bit. She fell down the stairs, broke her arm, and fell down a pit of doom... a bit.

That's gotta be annoying for any reader to be met with. I know that sometimes when I read someone else's manuscript little word quirks like that will pop out at me and when that happens I cannot unsee them! It's aggravating! Argh! So when you read over a manuscript of yours, look for words that pop out at you frequently. If you notice words appearing multiple times in a paragraph, or worse, in a sentence, snip them out.

I recently had a manuscript rejected but with personal critique. The editor liked it but they noted that the frequency of the word "yet" was throwing them off in the story. WHAT! I gasped. And I looked over the manuscript and did indeed find a lot of "yet"... well maybe not a lot, maybe the editor was having a bad day and the word "yet" was just particularly irritating. Something . >_>

The point is, do NOT leave it to chance. Edit out those strays. Pluck em! NOW! DO IT!

Remember though, when you are writing a first draft, do not do anything to it. Just keep writing forward, and wait til second draft time to start plucking strays. If you keep backtracking and plucking strays or worse, getting paranoid about which words to choose while you're writing draft one you'll never get a thing done and this is what stops probably about 90 percent of aspiring authors who can never finish a draft of anything.

Awrite I'm done here. See ya next week. XD