About Me

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I spend most of my time daydreaming and creating otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic, and romance. All of my heroes have long hair, and my heroines are strong-willed. Prior to being a writer, I played bass guitar in an all-girl hard rock/metal band in southern California. When I'm not writing, editing, or reading, I enjoy practicing target archery.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Editing--overuse of certain words in a ms

As I go about editing my second ms, I realized that I have a bad habit of repeating certain words. This was pointed out to me in my first ms and I thought I had it under control, but obviously not. In my first ms I overused the word "glared." All of my characters "glared" at each other. I went through and substituted some of these words for "stared hard" and "fierce stare." In my second ms I discovered that I am overusing the word "somber." Everyone has "somber" eyes. So I must find other appropriate words to use in place of some of these "somber eyes." I just wanted to point out one thing that everyone should be on the lookout for when editing their ms--do not overuse words. It can pull a reader out of the story and that is never a good thing.

One book I recently read overused the "ly" words. Every sentence had at least two of these, as my editor calls them, "tom swiftlys." Adverbs are nice to use, but they should be used sparingly--(hey, I think I just made a joke), to modify a verb, adjective, or other adverb by describing or limiting to make meaning more exact. I was pulled out of this story many times because of this. And this was a best-selling author! Lucky for her the story was otherwise very interesting and I was able to finish the book.

Happy writing! And remember not to overuse certain words throughout your ms.