I know, I know, the weekly blog is late today. I have a good reason, honest. Usually, I write my blog on Thursday evenings and then put the blog out first thing in the morning on Fridays. Last night I buried myself in my new WIP, trying to clean it up before sending the script out to new betas.
To help a fellow writer find a tool that would identify overused words and phrases, I came across this amazing tool called Pro Writing Aid. I bought it and off I went. Well, let me tell you. This tool served me a healthy dose of humble pie. Apparently (yup this is one of my overused words), I have a tendency to ramble and include a lot of unnecessary words and phrases in my writing. I’m doing it in this blog…he he he. After all was said and done (another unnecessary phrase), I’d hacked out over 1,000 words.
When I first ran my script through the program, there were over 1,200 items to review. Twelve hundred! My score was a pitiful 70%. I felt like a terrible writer. Sure, I can spin a good yarn, but that yarn tangles a lot, making it hard to follow the story. If a sentence can be said in ten words, I use twenty.
The culprits for me:
Unnecessary words and phrases like: Apparently, very, a bit, I think, really, actually…and the list goes on and on.
- Use of passive verbs.
- Lots of sticky sentences – this is the only thing I did not fix because I didn’t know how. Sticky sentences are those that have a lot of filler words. I didn’t know how to eliminate those words without making the sentence sound odd.
- Too many adverbs
In my defense, the frequent use of passive verbs is a necessary evil in my line of work. Tentative less aggressive and direct language is useful when trying to put a nervous employee at ease. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! He he he…thus my affinity for sticky words….
Here’s a little clip from all three books to whet your appetite!
From The Book Addict
As the woman came closer, Tanya recognized the bookstore owner. She had a determined expression on her face. Tanya didn’t want to seem impolite, so she managed to lift her hand in a semi-wave.
Elle slowed her pace and smiled. “You bring your cat out for a walk?” Elle asked.
Tanya chuckled. “He insists, and if I don’t, bad things happen. He’s a spiteful little bugger.”
“May I join you?”
“Um, sure. We aren’t quite walking at the same pace, so if you, uh, were needing to, you know, walk faster for exercise or something.”
“Oh no, this is a good pace. You’ve started the book already,” Elle stated.
Tanya was confused. How would this woman know she’d already started to read the book? Did her whole presence scream bookworm with no life?
From The Book Witch coming in January
Hey Jaiden. Whatcha doing? Reading again?” Franklin asked.
Jaiden kept her groan from becoming audible. Captain Obvious strikes again. “Um, yeah. I was taking a lunch break and thought I’d sneak in a few chapters.”
“Anything I might be interested in?”
“Not unless you’re dying to read a good lesbian romance.” Jaiden reminded the science teacher he didn’t stand an ice storm’s chance in hell of wooing her away from her interest in women. She wished that interest went further. In her thirty-five years, Jaiden had never found the one.
“I’m open-minded. Maybe I would like the book.” Franklin smiled and showed his crooked yellow teeth.
Jaiden tried to rein in the unkind thoughts that snuck into her brain. I’ll just bet you are if there’s lesbian sex in the book. Franklin tended to surround himself with science journals and all things academic, but he was a man after all. She shuddered, imagining him trying to interject himself in a sex scene. She almost burst out laughing, as she looked at his ridiculous 70s-style glasses and silk, disco shirt. She thought maybe he should try to catapult himself back into that era, because it was definitely a time in history he obsessed over.
“This one doesn’t have a lot of sex scenes, mostly fade to black,” Jaiden answered.
“Oh. Hey do you think—”
“No.” Jaiden cut him off. “Franklin, you’re a nice guy, but you are definitely barking up the wrong tree.” She held up her tablet.
“I hear bisexuality is all the rage…”
Jaiden sighed and pointed to a mark on the dock. “Let’s go through that continuum again, Franklin. This is someone 100 percent straight.” She moved her finger a foot. “This is someone who is bisexual. Moving her finger another foot, she added, “And this is someone who is 100percent gay.” Jaiden placed her finger six inches farther from the last place she’d pointed to. “Now pay attention, Franklin. See this spot that my finger is on? That’s where I fit on the continuum. Six degrees from 100 percent lesbian, which means I possess less than zero interest in men. Does that help your scientific mind grasp what I’m trying to communicate?”
“No need to be sarcastic. You could have said I’m not interested because I’m not bisexual,” Franklin huffed.
From Compound Interest, the final book in the series I hope to have published!
“You put a tracking device on my ex-girlfriend? Didn’t you learn your lesson with Char? You need to stop messing with friends and family.” Dani tried to keep the irritation out of her voice but sometimes Toni didn’t think.
“Fuck the ethical dilemma. She did it for a good reason. Maggie and Antonio heard an unsubstantiated rumor that made them very concerned. Maggie asked Toni for her assistance and told her to keep it under wraps.” Val leaned against the desk.
“Why wasn’t I told about this?” Char pinned her intimidating gaze at Val first and then Toni. “You didn’t think to tell me what you were up to? You earned yourself a little couch time.”
“I told you this would backfire on me and now I’m relegated to the couch. No sex for me. You turned Char into the Sex Nazi, which is far worse than Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi. I don’t give two shits about not getting delicious soup for breaking the rules, but sex…fucking secret mission,” Toni grumbled.
Val stood and crossed her arms over her chest seemingly unaffected by the drama unfolding before her. Dani suspected not much about family dynamics rattled Val. “Because it affected Candy and most likely Dani. She didn’t want you going off half-cocked.”
“I’m a master strategist, how is it that I’ve suddenly been tossed into the emotional bucket?” Char’s jaw clenched.
Val raised her eyebrow. “Seriously? It’s common knowledge you don’t think clearly when your sister is involved. And your objectivity has taken a sharp turn ever since you caught the domesticity bug.”
“You’re one to talk. I’m not the one deciding to bring a baby into our little fortress of righteousness.” Char’s hands waved theatrically in the air.
“Yet. I saw those fertility pamphlets on your table. So, which one of you is having the turkey baster shoved up their twat?” Val smirked.
I am super excited about both of these series, but I will let you all be the judge….if you want to catch up, be sure to read The Book Addict, Asset Management, The Organization, and The Thanksgiving Baby Caper. That should set you up nicely for The Book Witch coming in January!
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