Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Writing Banes

Today is Wednesday - the day I'm supposed to offer tips for writers. Instead, I'm asking for suggestions from you.

I was reminded this morning of one of my personal writing flaws that continues to haunt me. I don't mind when I'm cranking out a draft as fast as my fingers will type and I manage to type through when I meant threw or one of the many other homonyms that haunt my writing nights. Because I actually know the difference between the words, I usually catch them on the first edit. These kinds of errors tend to jump off the page when I'm in edit mode.

The problem is I don't always go into edit mode for shorter pieces - like blog articles. Sometimes I'm up against a deadline, so I write in a word processor and depend on it to find the grossest of errors. But word processors don't find everything.

Since I know I have this particular issue, you'd think that I had some organized plan to eliminate the flaw from my writing. But I don't. I'm thinking of simply making a list of the most common errors and keeping it on my desk for reference.

What issues to find repeating themselves in your drafts and what do you do to nip it in the bud? Please click the comments link below to share your wisdom.


Anonymous said...

Oh gosh I have tons of em. For one, I tend to get stuck on a favorite word. I'll use it over and over and so close together that when I go into edit mode I am repulsed by the repetition. Like maybe "horrific." Or "tremendous." When I edit and start sniffing a redundancy problem, I do a word search for that word in the ms with my thesaurus up. I find other words that will work just as well without subjecting my readers to the agony of having to read the same old tired overused word all the way through a chapter or segment or even the entire book.

Charlotte Phillips, Co-Author of The Eva Baum Detective Series said...

Marvin, Marvin,

I understand completely and completely agree with the solution.


L.J. Sellers said...

Desk-side lists work great. In time, they train your brain and you don't need them. Which is good, because there will always be new lists to put up.

Charlotte Phillips, Co-Author of The Eva Baum Detective Series said...

Gee thanks Lj - crush my rose-colored view of a future where I have mastered the art. Just kidding of course. I love learning and stretching for new heights. If putting a list on my desk will get this annoying habit banned, I'm off to create the list.

Maybe next week we'll ask if authors gain or risk readership by posting political views:-). Is there really no such thing as bad publicity? I loved your blog today and salute your guts.