Sunday, August 28, 2011

Really! Very! Pretty!

While I'm working on a first draft I don't go back and edit. Sure, when I start a new day's writing I read a page or two of what I had written to get back into the mood of the scene, then I'll fix the typos I come across. But other than that I leave the editing/proofreading for when I'm busy with rewrites and every other read through I do after that.

To make the rewrites less arduous(high five for this awesome word, right?) there are a few things that I have constantly floating around my head when it's switched to writer mode and I thought I'd share one of them with you. Maybe it'll help.

I once read a blog post, can't remember by who, about some words we should avoid using because of our tendency to overuse them. See the title of the post? Yeah, those are the words.

Really

Very

Pretty


I'm adding A Little and Look to the list because the amount of times I used them in the UF and YA Paranormal was bordering obscene.

It's crazy how many times I have to stop when I see these word and noticed that I typed them without even realizing it because it felt so natural. Like it's supposed to be there. It gets annoying, especially for the reader. So I make a conscious effort to not use any of them unless there is no better way to get my point across.

Do you guys do something similar?  Please tell me I'm not the only one.

14 comments:

  1. (high five for arduous) You should add "seem". I'm a guilty "seem" over user.

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  2. I'm guilty of "look." Everyone is looking in my WIPs. At each other. At the sky. At the ground. Across the room. UGH.

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  3. Seems we should start a little list that would show every pretty word we really use without thought or look. Very silly.

    Haha. How's that?

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  4. Vernieda, I don't even notice that I overuse those words, other people point them out to me. When I'm rereading my work I facepalm myself because it's so obvious.

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  5. oh lordy. When I start doing first pass edits I always discover that my characters have Tourette's. They shrug, stare, eye brow raise, look, and swear a lot.

    Wordle usually gives me a good idea of some frequent offenders

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  6. I use 'quietly'--suckie, weak adverb. I have to limit myself to the number of times I can use it in a novel. Usually I give myself two or three of them.

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  7. Cat, how is it possible that I've never come across Wordle? It's freaking great. Just saved the page. Thanks.

    Heidi, maybe I should add 'quietly' to my list as well. It sounds unpleasantly familiar.

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  8. LOL! I'm guilty of then, look. Oy! Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Oh man, my characters "look" at everything. They look down, they look away, they look at the sky, they look up, they look sideways... Ugh, it's awful.

    I spotted you over at Ladies Who Critique and just wanted to say hello. :-)

    -Your newest follower
    http://pawsfangsandsmiles.blogspot.com/

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  10. Megan, Ladonna, it's a good thing I decided to add 'look' to the list. Good to know I'm not suffering alone.

    Megan, thanks for the follow! I'll return the favor.

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  11. I just found you via the Campaign (YA All Genres) and was backreading through your blog. This is so true! Half the things we say daily should rarely or never be written down into literature. The lack of these words does not make a story sound false, we just have to work harder to find new words!

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  12. @quidforquill So true. You know what I like best about replacing these words? That fact that what I replace them with makes my MS so much better. So it's not all bad.

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  13. Hey Jani, I'm in your YA campaign group. I ducked my head with a guilty giggle when I read this post. Good grief, how my characters 'look'! I even know I have a 'look' issue and still my drafts are riddled with them. My other guilty word is 'just' - for some reason it ends up in every other sentence.

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  14. Jocelyn, I'm busy with editing/rewriting and I'm still deleting these words, so don't feel alone.

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