Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Yeah hey look I'm not supposed to be here, okay. My MS is right there on the other side of the screen, and she's lookin' at me right ugly. The editing, the editing! The words control my life. But you know, sometimes you gotta be free, you gotta find a little YOU time. Which I'm going to spend on you. With a handy-dandy list of the editing I should be doing right now!

What am I doing right now? AHM EXORCISING MAH DEMONZ.
No, I'm not getting my vodka blessed then playing quarters with my old college roommate (a monster), nor am I going on a spirit journey. That's later. Instead, I am engaging in the incredible act of hunting down the demons in my MS, the dark spirits that cloud my text and obscure the beauty and power of the prose beneath! What the hell am I talking about?


  • SAW
  • FELT
  • KNEW
  • AND
  • THAT
I see you, spawn of Ghidora! Begone from my texts, begone from this earthly realm and never return! Well, not all of you. Sometimes I need you. But like, only on holidays. If we could just have a few little demon meetups once or twice a novel, that would be swell. 

In not-crazy person words: This selection of lexical items is a good tracker for words that can and should be ridden from your novel! All of these add clunk to sentences and break up pace. Stop seeing things! Stop hearing things, stop feeling things, just, you know, things. Imagine you are watching a movie and instead of the camera you had the cameraman, and you were just looking at his viewfinder the whole time, shaking and wobbling as he tries to keep up with the action until you realize you're on a goddamn set and Tom Cruise is just on a friggen treadmill. You've got some guy who is seeing everything for you. He maybe sends a telegram and lets you know what's going on in the action scene every few weeks -- who cares, you've stopped reading them.

Okay, so the crazy came back. All this has been said before by smarter people (read: here) but I'm giving you what I'm personally looking for right now. Ctrl-F->DELETE. Every sentence looks better, my Godzilla. Even if you don't have too many of these instances, and you already know this stuff, go through, because they are sneaky little buggers, and they get in all over the place.

Okay, I'm running back to my MS to murder these beasts. Too many run-on sentences given life by the necromantic powers of AND! Go back to your prison, you moster!

1 comment:

  1. Death to the demons!!

    ...except for AND. You can send all your ANDs over to my novel. It's a safe place ;)