Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Plucking words

Notes I've been taking using editor suggestions.

Delete all chapter inserts

Delete paragraph tabs

Try to get rid of ellipses

Replace em dashes with --

Try to eliminate words like: Really, very, just

Most semi-colons could probably be commas

Try to find exclamation points and see if they can be periods instead

These things I can fix using 'find' in Mac pages, it's the other, more elusive issues that will be harder to self-learn. Things like run-on sentences. I have a problem with that. Someone once told me I had amazing flow, which was very nice of them to say. I guess it comes from being a songwriter and a musician. I like to make sentences roll along. But, I guess it's not always a beautiful thing.

Some people are pulling weeds from their gardens today. I am pulling verbal weeds : )


  1. Everything I have been reading lately has made me so self conscious about words. I find myself going back and hacking everthing I have written to bits. Verbal weeds indeed. But....if someone really talks that way you need to use the weeds in their narrative, right?

  2. Delete paragraph tabs? Why? :-/ Confused ...

  3. Jessica- I guess using tab to start a paragraph annoys the formatters since they have to take all of it out. I'd probably heard about it before, but didn't want to stop using them.

  4. mybabyjohn- I'd say write first, think later because we all have to edit at one point, and the more you have, the more you'll be left to work with. If you self-edit now, you might never put down all those good bits that come with freestyle writing.

  5. I am very guilty of run-on sentences. I always go back to change the punctuation, when what I should be doing is eliminating words.

    You are probably learning from the editor what to do for your next book.

  6. Try not to feel too overwhelmed! You don't have to make it perfect in this one edit. There will be many more to come. Probably not what you wanted to hear, but most likely very true. (And I bet the previous sentence is one your editor would not like AT ALL.)

  7. Karen- Haha. Yeah, I figured there were lots of edits ahead. I do tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to things like this, but time smooths that all out. That's why I'm so grateful for blogs like yours and Talli's etc, where you've always been honest about the editing experience.

    Laughing at your blatant adverb display there : ) Thanks for that!

  8. Really? I didn't think that was the author's responsibility :-/ Oh well ... I guess everyone works differently!

  9. Picky, picky. I really happen to like the word "really". I really probably use it too much and should really stop I guess. I just happen to like it very much.

    Tossing It Out

  10. Blogging's to blame! We all try to say so much, with so few words and so little time. Bad habits are easily formed. Maybe if you looked upon it as writing a whole new book, the editing would be less tedious. Kushti bok.

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