Friday, August 28, 2009

Repetition....and OH, the WEEDS!!!

The worst weaknesses in my writing style are driving me crazy. I'm repetitive, I assume my readers will be dumb and unable to infer a thing and last, but by no means least, weed words. These are probably common problems but they annoy me.

As far as repetition goes the problem is two fold in my manuscripts. First of all, I always say something and then repeat it another way. I do this by the paragraph! Frustration. Also, word repetition. Last night the word "door" was used in a 4 sentence paragraph a total of 4 times. :/ That's stellar writing!

Next, I am forever telling the reader what they already can figure out for themselves, which is pretty much faithless writing on my part. I don't trust that I'm a good enough writer to describe from my text something so that the reader gets it. I will say, for example: "Sammy's face went white. His eyes were as wide as bottle tops and his body trembled. Obviously, this scared him." #2 sentence isn't even kind of needed. We get that. Sigh...

And last...last are "weed words." Weed words are the superfluous words that pop up all through your manuscript. They're pesky, common and aggravating. Well, those aren''t the words. That's what the words are. LOL Ok...done trying to explain that. My weed words are "that," and "just." ie: I just really need to tell you that you are driving me crazy and you need to stop, stop, stop it!! Wow, there are so many issues with that sentence I don't know what to do! I went all out with it though. Here's how the sentence should be written: I need to tell you; you're driving me crazy. You need to stop it! Although really, that: stop, stop, stop it, could have to do with characterization and might be OK.

All of this is stuff I've learned from writing but I have to say also, I can't stress it enough, If you want to be a serious writer, an "Author", GO TO A WRITERS WORKSHOP!!! Seriously. GO! Chapters 1-15 of my book were written pre- BYU Writers Workshop and I can definitely tell. There is a glaring difference between those chapters and the post-BYU Chapters I'm doing now. My writing improved so much over that week I thank heaven every day I went. The pre-BYU chapters took hours and hours to edit. I had to restructure almost all my sentences and clean up all the three above mentioned issues. The chapters I'm working on now are pretty quick edits.

Ok, well, as I've been editing I have discovered so much about writing. But I'm happy to say that I'm editing chapter 19 now. There are 28 chapters so I'm getting somewhere! Hooray! Now all I need to do is not think about the 4-5 more times I have to edit it after I'm done with the rough edit...

Oh - and one more really silly thing but when I wrote the word "Author" above I felt like herald angels were singing and it was neon lit and spotlighted. Do you think that makes me weird in any way? Oh, never mind, better not answer that one. And anyway, I know the truth.

Happy Writing!

Melony

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