Sunday, May 20, 2012
Weekly Writing Check-In: Those Silly Editing Items. And Sex.
- "sigh". All my characters are always sighing, and of course it's usually not necessary. This is a habit I picked up years and years ago as a crutch to display dissatisfaction, eventual fatigue, or as a way to change a character's thoughts or switch POV. I've finally stopped actually writing it so much, but it still abounds in older drafts.
- "realize". This is a new for me in this particular draft. Characters are always having these little epiphanies, apparently. This is trickier to get rid of than "sigh" because it's not a simple delete, but usually requires rearranging entire sentences to get the same idea across without making everyone look like Plato.
- "glance". One of my big things that is pretty much just a style of mine is that I focus on characters' facial expressions, particularly eyes, because this is what I do in real life. Characters' eyes usually convey their inner feelings for me. (And this carries on to others' works...sometimes i don't pick up the inner cues as well unless a character's eyes are described.) But I've been noticing a large amount of "glancing" going on in this draft. Not looking, not glaring, not peering, glancing. Well, it is a pretty word. But I have no need for so much of it. This is a word that's just driving me nuts at this point because it's EVERYWHERE. Sometimes I just swap out for another word so my "glance" rage doesn't explode, but usually I just drop the whole part or reword it if it's really important.
Aside from that, it's just the usual. First thing I control+F after reading through the whole chapter is "that", because extraneous "that"s are my new kryptonite.
Of course, I type all of this now as I'm staring down the chapter with the super-awkward-heterosexual-generational-difference-sex-scene from hell. (Not because it's awful or doesn't belong, but because it's just so awkward,man, which is good! Because that's what I'm going for.) My brain is going to be caught between "would a reader LAUGH at this description when they're not supposed to" and "oh. oh dude what are you doing with that?! I totally forgot about this!" while I know I'm supposed to be looking for these smaller things. I've read and edited this scene dozens of times now and it's pretty much where it needs to be, but this whole "tightening sentences" doesn't work when you're giggling over the word "tight" hee hee hee!
Sigh. I realize now that I should glance through it.
I'm going in.