Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What I've Learned From Editing

I know that I usually do an Author Interview for the second Wednesday of the month, but because of my little hiatus last month I wasn't able to set one up. It will be back next month though.

I've been editing my MS for a little over a week now. Here's a few things I've learned:

  • I really like to use a few words that I don't need, a lot:
  1. that
  2. can
  3. just
  4. suddenly

  • I really like to tell, not show.

  • I really like my story. Which I suppose is a really good thing.

What are some things you've learned about your writing from editing? Do you have the same problem as me with excess words? How about with telling and not showing?


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16 comments:

Jadzia Brandli said...

The words I use the most are: look, about, and my characters' names. As for showing and telling, I either show too much or tell too much. I struggle to find the balance in-between.

One thing I have found in my editing is that I write long chapters. For my current WIP (a Camp NaNo novel) I'm trying to write much shorter chapters. I find it subtly keeps the reader reading.

Bill Cokas said...

According to Elmore Leonard, "suddenly" is one of the words you can get by without ever using again. It's one of his "10 Rules of Writing." Doesn't mean I don't use it, though...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I really like felt and just. And working hard right now to eliminate those from my manuscript.

Ella said...

Your few words are my few words ;D

What a wonderful feeling! Congrats on finishing...celebrate, take a deep breath...then onward! I'm not there yet...but hope to be someday!

Congrats, so exciting @>-----

Kelley Lynn said...

Oh my. 'That' is totally one of my words. :)

And that's so great you love your story!!! That's what matters most of all. (And I love it too ;))

Rebecca Barrow said...

Every other line of dialogue starts with "Like" or "I mean". And, oh my god, the ellipses! I'm not sure there's a sentence without a pause in my whole MS.

Gene Pool Diva said...

in a moment, just a sec, a few minutes later ...

Natalie Aguirre said...

"That" is a big one for me too. I try to eliminate "just" but sometimes you need it. I've learned to fix character arcs, eliminate unnecessary scenes that could just have a quick narration paragraph, fix plot problems. I've revised so much and have learned so much from it. Just starting it again to fix plot problems.

Chris Fries said...

I tend to try and squeeze too many thoughts into one sentence, lol. Evidently I'm a huge fan of complex, comma-laden, long-winded sentences.

Much of my editing is simplifying for clarity. ;^)

Suzi said...

I have problems with all those words, with the exception of suddenly. 'That' is probably my worst offender.

I wish I had a list of all these words back when I started editing my 1st novel, because I sent out a ms that wasn't very good. (a year ago) I learned a lot and my next novel I'm querying will be much better.

This is sort of why I started doing a weekly blog post on words like this that I overuse. Or just don't need. Experts always say 'tighten' your writing and even now I'm finding ways to do that. And I have a huge list of words to search for when polishing.

Morgan said...

One of the biggest mistakes I make is physical telling... (heart's thumping, stomach's churning, etc) I'm going through my MS right now and really trying to ex those out. :D

J. A. Bennett said...

Ctrl+F is my best friend. You can find an replace anything, even those pesky extra spaces :)

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

'That' and 'just' are bad ones for me!

Brooke R. Busse said...

All those words. Except I find that I'm not using "suddenly" so much anymore. Is it possible I've trained it out of myself? 0-0

Saumya said...

Ah, these are some of my words as well that I struggle with. New to your blog and love it! Best of luck with your writing journey. I'm also knee deep in edits so I feel ya :)

Debra Harris-Johnson said...

Too long and run on sentences. I am long winded and it shows in my writing. Congrats on your editing progress. Been gone too long but I'm back visit soon.