You know it’s not going to be a good day when you get to work and you can write a blog post because your computer is no longer connected to the office networked drives.
Dr. Rayne Hall recently did a guest post on Pamela Turner’s blog on a “Cure for Sighs”. As in, your character sighs too much. I don’t think my characters sigh too much, although they have been known to on occasion, some quite gustily, most especially in exasperation. (Dr. Rayne isn’t a real doctor, but she plays one on TV. Also, she apparently has 30 years worth of experience editing other people’s work.)
Her recommendation was to use the find/replace function for words or phrases you may think you overuse (calling it Search and Destroy).
I know I have a nasty habit of overusing certain words-she even responded to my comment (yay!) about them. For my current project, I’m still in the bad habit of using “look” and “turn”, and I’ve graduated to adding in “just” and “still”. Quite frankly, it’s getting a bit exhausting having to pay attention to what I’m writing while I’m writing it, so that I won’t have to go back and edit it out later. Does that make sense?
What I mean is that normally when I write, at least the paranormal crap I’ve been writing lately, I tend to pay little attention to the words and focus more on trying to get the point across. Whereas the short story I just finished writing, which does not involve anything out of the ordinary unless you count a couple who have been married for close to 25 years as out of the ordinary, took an entire month to write. And it was only 11,000 words long. It took a month because I was paying as much attention to the story itself as the language I used.
At this point in my fledgling writing career, I have five completed novels, two short stories, several incomplete short stories, an idea for another novel, and a sixth novel that I should be finished with in the next week or so. I have yet to spend any real amount of time editing any of them. I hate editing. I hate it with a passion. Yet I know that if I’m going to get anywhere with this (the BF is counting on it, he wants to ride on my coattails, and I’ll probably let him) I’ve gotta suck it up and start searching and destroying.
Unfortunately for me I didn’t get that thesaurus for Christmas, so I’ll have to keep stretching my tiny brain to come up with new ways to say so and so was looking at so and so, then turned away. Maybe I’ll end up resorting to French.