Trude Vandine & Catrina Pomerleau. Congratulations to you and thanks to everyone for playing along. Several of you sent copies of awesome pictures of our planet. I appreciate you sharing. Trude and Catrina have or will soon receive(d) their books. If you enjoy the story, I hope you’ll take a moment to post a review. (I’ll post these results in my May Newsletter, too.)
Lots of writing is creative without many rules. And for every rule, you can find great writing ignoring that rule. Frustrating for someone like me who is a rule follower. I finished the more creative part of my writing process almost two months ago. Which means the story is mostly complete, and now I’m doing rewrites and this very nit-picky part of looking at word usage. This activity appeals to the concrete/administrative side of my personality. I put the word in “Find” and go through the whole manuscript checking to see how I’ve used the word and asking myself if I can create a different and better way to say what is on the screen. It’s amazing what this process shows up that’s not related to the overused words. So more happens than dropping the overused word or rewriting the idea.
I’ve been focused and worked long hours this week and now have only 12 more words to check for their overuse. Doesn’t sound bad, but they are the most commonly used words: that, it, could, have, has, was, were, get, been, and but to name several. I use these words a ton. (I can send a copy of the list to anyone who’d like a copy.)
“But” showed up 488 times? Apparently, in my rough draft writing, I tend toward either/or if/then kinds of sentences. Here’s an example. “Okay, Mom if you’re determined, we’ll support you in every way, but you have to promise to be careful.” I will change that “but” to “if.” And then I’ll need to check I haven’t overused “if.” AGGGH A vicious cycle for sure. I admit to becoming a bit obsessed with this process. But it’s precise, and you can tell when you’ve finished.
In the past, some of you have volunteered to be Beta Readers for me, and I’m always grateful for your efforts. I’m beginning to look for folks to read a not totally edited version of COMPROMISE in mid to late May. I’ll ask my Newsletter readers, too. If you’re interested, I’ll send a few questions to guide you or you can just tell me what you liked and what you didn’t. (Sometimes, I put the same thing in a blog post and a Newsletter. I do that because everyone who follows this blog doesn’t follow the Newsletter and vice-versa, and I don’t want anyone to miss any opportunities.)
I mentioned in the April Newsletter that print copies of TAINTED are available from Amazon. If you live in the Fort Worth area, I can deliver a copy or meet you somewhere half-way. $10 from me and more on Amazon.
Okay, so I’ve spent as much time on this blog as I can spare. I’ve got to get back to checking overused words. As always, I’d love to hear from you, and maybe I’ll find some new or “gently used” Beta Readers. 😊 Hope the spring is as pretty for you as it is for me. You may have seen this image on my Instagram or FB page. 🙂 Marsha