In the last #Editing blog we looked into Developing characters, if you missed it why not take a look. Next time we’ll be delving into emotional beats.
The first draft of my YA fantasy novel was finished. I’d succeeded in writing the story, working towards The End, scene by scene, until the book was complete.
Yay! It’s a fantastic feeling. An accomplishment of hard work, creativity and a dash of doubt.
If you’re working towards that goal, keep going, you can do it.
So, what happens once you reach the finish line? It’s time to edit, revise, cut, add and alter your first draft. Working it until it’s the master piece it deserves to be.
Today I’m highlighting crutch words. Or in my case, an over use of body parts. How many times did I write heart, lips or eyes in that piece?
I’m talking about particular words that you’ve peppered your page with. You’ll being to notice the words you rely on. With diligence you can begin to remove them from your work.
Edit out crutch words. Jot down a list of your culprits and search your document, preening them out. Try rewriting the sentence using different words? Ask yourself; do the words adding any meaning to the sentence? Will its removal, alter the story? Can the crutch word be replaced with an alternative description? Eliminating the obvious eyes sores before our readers identify them.
#TIP. Word document has a Find tool that searches and highlights them in your manuscript. Making it easy to alter or remove.
Air caution, when using the thesaurus. While its function is invaluable to us authors, it runs the risk of stripping our unique voice from the story. I must admit to replacing a word for a recommended substitute and losing the original meaning by not understanding the definition.
Hey!! I’m a creator of worlds, not a master literary knowledge. (Perhaps one day I’ll be both.)
My last tip is to read your work aloud. We’re often too close to our work to see fault. But by sounding out the writing, our brains have the ability to process the information, thus picking up on the crutch words. I find that reading out to my critique group gives me extra awareness. I’m guaranteed to find at least one more, even after a thorough edit.
An editor will spot these for you. Unfortunately, they won’t do the revision for you.
Yes, it’s tedious and hard work but with persistence your writing will improve.
What is your main crutch word? Don’t be shy. I love it when you share your thoughts and opinions.