Thursday, October 6, 2011


Edit-Edit-Edit what can I say? Wow, the process is so tedious. But maybe it wouldn’t be for someone who doesn’t use words such as just in just about every sentence. I just don’t seem to be able to stop using the word.

I found out some tips in this edit process. Most of you probable already know but on the outside chance you are as computer illiterate as I, I thought I'd share my findings.

1) Watch for point of view (POV) problems. If you start a scene in one person's POV, you need to stay there. Don't head hop.

2) Knew or know

See or saw

Thought or think

Notice or noticed

These are all "telling" words. Don't tell us someone "sees" something when you can just have them see it. Don't tell us someone "feels" something. Show us what they feel. There are times "thought or think" can be used but make sure you can't show us better by just having them think it. If we are in their POV we know they are thinking. Don't tell us they notice something. Just show us they noticed it.

3) Try, trying, tried

Attempt, attempted

Again, telling words for the most part. Instead of having him try something, have him do it, etc.

4)Just - overused word you can get rid of 90% of the time

5) Was - it's a passive word but not to say don't use it. Look at the sentence and if you can see a more active way to word it, then do.

6) at him, to her, for him, etc.
These can usually be deleted altogether.

7) A word on tags. If we know who is speaking, there is no need to tell us. And if the dialogue is good, you don't need to tag with words like - he emphatically stated or he rebuked, etc. I suppose occasionally you might add some of that but by and large "said" will do it or nothing at all if we know who is talking.

If you are like most author’s you have some repetitious words. Mine are just and quickly.
What I found out that saved hours and hours of searching, if you go to the top of your page look for the Edit options, and then find. Put in the word you overuse and it runs you through your entire manuscript page after page to find that word. I was just amazed at how many times I used the word just.
Hope this helps at least one of you; otherwise I’m the only one who needs to go back and take English lit 101. Ha-Ha.

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