Do you know how annoying it is when you're speaking with someone and they use the word, "like" all the time? (Which I'm actually guilty of, though I'm really trying hard to break the habit.) Or they constantly say, 'I said,' or 'You know what I mean?' Repetitive words. Useless filler, when you stop to think about it. How much quicker would conversations be if those useless filler words were gone?
Well, I don't think they'll go the way of the dinosaur just yet, but I found out I'm just as guilty of them in writing as I am in speech.
So, I received my second first round edits -or first edits 1.1 - as my editor at Samhain calls them (which I think is rather appropriate, really,) this afternoon and it seems one of my weaknesses is these dopey repetitive phrases. Egads, they were annoying the heck out of me as I was doing a "find" on certain phrases and I saw just how many times they popped up. If they annoyed me, they must have driven her right up the wall. Note to self, thank editor for her patience.
Thankfully, these phrases, annoying though they are, are easily corrected. In most cases, as she said, they can simply be deleted. But if not, I have to try to find another way to say it. Good. I have to really think about these changes. You should have seen me in my office, talking to the computer, to the ceiling fan, to the Boy - talking to myself and anyone who passed by in the search for The Perfect Words.
Okay, they didn't have to be perfect. They just needed to be different. I used variations on brackish about 387 times. There has got to be a better way to say it. I'm still working on the list of phrases. It's pretty short, but there are a lot in the manuscript. And now I'm back on deadline, so posts might be short and sweet - we'll see. Like I said, it's a short list, but I haven't even gotten to her comments on the manuscript itself. In some instances, I'm wincing at what I wrote and, more importantly, why I wrote what I did. Oh well, I suppose that's why God created editors and I am really quite grateful that mine's there.
Okay - back to work...