I’m in the mood to destroy words! I think I’d better not, though, until at least a couple other people tell me the targeted words are bad. Otherwise I might just erase everything…
I have finished a first pass through of my novella, and fixed all the problems I had highlighted! Now to read it again and find a whole new slew of them (I’ve already found a few, sigh.)
I know it will never be ‘done.’ It will only ever be ‘good enough.’
But it is still frustrating noticing new problems. Why couldn’t I have noticed them before? Or while I was writing the damn thing?
But I guess that’s just not how it works.
The next step is to make a nicely readable word doc and get it out to my writing group to get some feedback! Also, I made a cover for fun (that’s it above) 🙂
Looking forward to sending this out somewhere, sometime this year!
Not even out of the first week. A good sign!
Damn it feels good to be a writer.
Creation has been slowed due to all the editing I’ve been doing, so it is a much needed brain flexing to actually work on something new.
Now, back to the grind…
I started reading it… and am wondering why I never did this before. It’s like walking through a treasure-filled cavern and snatching up any glinting piece that pulls my eye. So many words! I wish I had a randomized version of the dictionary so that all my new words wouldn’t start with A, but here are a few I never knew, and that I especially like:
ab·at·toir (1820) : SLAUGHTERHOUSE
abe·ce·dar·i·an : one learning the rudiments of something (as the alphabet) abecedarian adj (1665) 1 a : of or relating to the alphabet b : alphabetically arranged 2 : RUDIMENTARY
abu·lia (ca. 1864) : abnormal lack of ability to act or to make decisions — abu·lic \-lik\ adj
ace·dia (1607) : APATHY, BOREDOM
And I’m only up to ‘ac’ 😮
What other discoveries await me?
To write more? I bet one of them is to write more. All us writers tend to make that resolution every year. But the trick to keeping those resolutions is to make your goal something measurable, and achievable.
For example, no nebulous ‘write more’ goals. Pick something solid like ‘write a story each month’ or ‘post a blog entry every day’. It’s also important to make it realistic. If you normally only write a chapter or two per month, writing a novel in a year may not be realistic. If February rolls around and you’ve only written two chapters, you may sense that you’ll never make it in time, and give up altogether.
Instead, pick a goal that increases your pace, but not by so much that it requires you to become a whole new person before you can even start. If your current pace is a couple chapters a month, make a plan to write a chapter per week. If you get into the year and that pace seems not so hard, then increase it further.
Here are some goals of mine:
- Get my novella (finished already) out to beta readers, implement their feedback, and find somewhere to submit it.
- Complete the second draft of my novel.
- Write at least 40k words of a new novel.
- Write six short stories worthy of submission.
- Read/listen to 40 novels.
While that is less writing than I did last year, it is more editing! And overall more attention paid toward writing.
What are your goals for the new year?
When in the process of splashing out words for a new story, we all find ourselves writing words we don’t need, repeating words, and being hacks in general. I’ve composed a list of these ‘filler’ words that I’ve found most often in my own work. Search for, and delete!
Very: Delete any that aren’t in dialogue.
Almost: Delete unless it is specifically necessary for a thing to almost be, instead of just being.
Nearly: same as above
Really: Delete if it’s being used as an adverb, unless in dialogue.
Still: When used to show something is continuing, you can delete it 90% of the time. To show something is motionless, often you can use a better word. (I bet you’ve used ‘still’ a dozen times for that already.)
Toward: Can almost always be changed to ‘at’ or ‘to’ or be removed.
Turn: My characters are constantly turning this way and that (even turning toward things!) and most of it is unnecessary.
Feel/felt: Jane felt the water lapping gently at her feet. versus The water lapped gently at Jane’s feet. The only reason to say feel/felt is if the character wasn’t feeling it before and now is, otherwise it is sort of taken for granted that they can feel it…
Watch/see/saw: Same as above. Unless there is a real need to make it clear that the something is visible to your character, it is kind of assumed that the viewpoint character can see what you are describing. Jane saw and heard the waves splashing, and felt them lap her toes. Seems silly now, right?
I’ve started a new short story, and am also editing my novella… what new super power is this?