What are your pet peeves about your own writing?

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
User avatar
BransfordGroupie
Posts: 98
Joined: December 6th, 2009, 6:10 pm
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: What are your pet peeves about your own writing?

Post by BransfordGroupie » April 15th, 2010, 9:31 am

Holly wrote:
eringayles wrote:
BransfordGroupie wrote:I've written my novel in the first person (past tense). So for me it seems that as I am editing, I am noticing way too may I's, my's and me's. It seems I must have noticed this somewhere along the writing process (this is my first attempt at writing - ever - so I know I have a lot to learn). In order to avoid I's, my's and me's, I began starting a lot of sentences with ing words. And now that is bugging me.

What are you finding most annoying about your own writing?
Imagery turns me on. Get this (before editing):

'But the ocean carried an aura of the deepest evil. It was a clotted purple mass - not the consistency of water but of heavy mercury.It didn't flow or swell or even churn. It bulged. Solid hills and mountains of the stuff rose abruptly. Some rivalled tsunamis - higher than the cliff, but only a few meters wide - giant opaque lumps like brain tumors dancing on a skull.
As I watched, the highest rearranged itself, forming a point at its apex. It looked more like a tongue, now - but then flattening, bending at right angles to the body. Two slits gouged themselves into the bend, frowning and glowing gold. The point split into a mouth, and from the mouth flicked the forked tongue of a giant serpant.
Urine-coloured eyes studied me, and the mouth smiled a warning as it sucked itself back like bubble-gum, into its labrynth.'

I've got loads of this stuff - all being harshly edited. But it hurts!

eringayles, I love you... I am laughing so hard I have tears in my eyes. Hey, there's some good stuff in there, though... I like those bulges and the urine-colored eyes.

Me: all my characters talk the same way... mothers, sons, young, old, southerners, northerners... they could all be the same person.
Yeah, I'm with Holly. Why would you want to edit any of that? Don't 'spose you want to edit my novel? It could do with a bit more imagery. Another thing I noticed in my ms was that my MC's love interest raised his eyebrows 3 times in the matter of a single paragraph. Is that a nervous tick or what?
Image
REVELATION: The Book of Angel - First draft complete :-)
Facebook

User avatar
Bohemienne
Posts: 46
Joined: February 12th, 2010, 1:06 pm
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: What are your pet peeves about your own writing?

Post by Bohemienne » April 15th, 2010, 1:48 pm

bronwyn1 wrote:Also, I have way too many -ing clauses, sometimes three -ing clauses in a row. That and I noticed too as I edited that I didn't know how to use semicolons. I forgot who said it, but I read somewhere something to the tune of "overuse/misuse of semicolons makes your writing look like a crying ten-year-old wearing black mascara"
Oh dear. I'd better give my manuscript a hug and a lollipop. It's chock full of semi-colons!!

User avatar
Quill
Posts: 1059
Joined: March 17th, 2010, 9:20 pm
Location: Arizona
Contact:

Re: What are your pet peeves about your own writing?

Post by Quill » April 15th, 2010, 3:45 pm

Heh, I elected to not use any semi-colons in mine.

User avatar
Terry Towery
Posts: 44
Joined: December 6th, 2009, 8:45 pm
Location: Peoria, IL
Contact:

Re: What are your pet peeves about your own writing?

Post by Terry Towery » April 15th, 2010, 9:27 pm

wildheart wrote:
tameson wrote:wildheart- I have a similar problem. I edited in over 20k words in the my first draft (57k to 84k) and I imagine it will get longer as I go through and focus on adding descriptions. Plenty of time to edit and add more stuff.
Thanks for that. It's nice to know I am not the only one that feels this way, or that has this problem. I guess I have this issue with wanting the perfect first draft. I know it doesn't exsist, but it still bugs me when I can't pull it off! I'm going to try and just keep pushing myself. When I finish then I can worry about everything I screwed up.
Ha. I wish I could give you 20k from my manuscript! I have just the opposite problem. I was horrified when I realized that my first draft was 145k. I've killed a lot of darlings and have it down to a more manageable 120k. But if I could lose another 15k, I would sleep better at night.

lexcade
Posts: 107
Joined: January 2nd, 2010, 12:57 am
Location: northern ky/cincinnati
Contact:

Re: What are your pet peeves about your own writing?

Post by lexcade » April 17th, 2010, 4:28 am

i have two:

one, i have a flair for the over-dramatic, so much so that i lose sleep at night wondering if the words i've chosen even have meaning or depth. (<---see?)

two, i think my narration might be emo.
"Art imitates nature as well as it can, as a pupil follows his master; thus it is sort of a grandchild of God." ~~Dante

bcomet
Posts: 588
Joined: January 23rd, 2010, 2:11 pm
Contact:

Re: What are your pet peeves about your own writing?

Post by bcomet » April 17th, 2010, 3:54 pm

Sommer,
You made me laugh and laugh.
You must be fun to edit.

bronwyn1
Posts: 82
Joined: March 7th, 2010, 6:38 pm
Contact:

Re: What are your pet peeves about your own writing?

Post by bronwyn1 » April 17th, 2010, 5:08 pm

I forgot to add that sometimes (and especially in my YA manuscript), my writing is really stilted and way too formal. And wordy. I'm pretty terrible with the wordiness.

Sommer Leigh
Moderator
Posts: 1624
Joined: April 2nd, 2010, 11:07 pm
Location: Omaha, NE
Contact:

Re: What are your pet peeves about your own writing?

Post by Sommer Leigh » April 19th, 2010, 12:14 am

bcomet wrote:Sommer,
You made me laugh and laugh.
You must be fun to edit.

Hah! Thanks. Editing in my house is not all fun and games though. Sometimes my English teacher husband is all like, "You know, at school I get PAID to edit kids' papers and none of them are 100,000 words long."

And I'm all like, "Awe honey. I'll thank you in my dedication."

And he glares. "That's not the same as getting paid."
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

User avatar
FK7
Posts: 190
Joined: February 21st, 2010, 1:21 pm
Contact:

Re: What are your pet peeves about your own writing?

Post by FK7 » April 19th, 2010, 11:04 pm

Zombies rhyming could be incredibly compelling to read tbh ;)

A.M.Kuska
Posts: 73
Joined: March 8th, 2010, 6:52 pm
Contact:

Re: What are your pet peeves about your own writing?

Post by A.M.Kuska » April 21st, 2010, 11:54 am

wildheart wrote:
knight_tour wrote:My biggest problem that I am aware of is that I have trouble stretching out tension/suspense. I resolve things a bit too easily. And, when I look at how I can stretch these things, I end up not liking the solutions because they seem contrived.
Oh yeah, I have this problem too! I guess its just something that will get better as we grow as writers.
Simple solution to that: Roleplay. There are tons of websites where you can roleplay at, and the whole point of each respnse you type is to build conflict. If you don't, the story ends. If you just respond with your point of view of what's happening, you get your booty kicked. ;-)

User avatar
knight_tour
Posts: 161
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 2:30 pm
Location: Baku, Azerbaijan
Contact:

Re: What are your pet peeves about your own writing?

Post by knight_tour » April 21st, 2010, 1:06 pm

A.M.Kuska wrote:
wildheart wrote:
knight_tour wrote:My biggest problem that I am aware of is that I have trouble stretching out tension/suspense. I resolve things a bit too easily. And, when I look at how I can stretch these things, I end up not liking the solutions because they seem contrived.
Oh yeah, I have this problem too! I guess its just something that will get better as we grow as writers.
Simple solution to that: Roleplay. There are tons of websites where you can roleplay at, and the whole point of each respnse you type is to build conflict. If you don't, the story ends. If you just respond with your point of view of what's happening, you get your booty kicked. ;-)
It's tough. I have the whole book written and I really like the story the way it is. When I think of major ways to throw in suspense it always seems to entail rewriting the whole book. For now I am trying to find ways to stretch suspense while keeping the story basically intact. I know that may not work, but for sanity's sake I need to try that first.

JohnstonMR
Posts: 10
Joined: February 16th, 2010, 11:51 am
Contact:

Re: What are your pet peeves about your own writing?

Post by JohnstonMR » April 22nd, 2010, 3:29 pm

KellyWittmann wrote:Oh, I'm terrible with em dashes. My agent made me go through my latest manuscript and replace most of them with semicolons. Part of me is embarrassed by it, but part of me feels that it is my natural way of writing. Also, there's smoking. It is a bad habit in both my real life and my writing. I simply must start writing non-smoking protagonists, but I don't want to. It's a crutch.
In my high school journalism course, my teacher referred to me as "dash-happy." Now--twenty years later--it's still true. I can't help it. I just like the look of an em-dash more than a semicolon--it just reads better, to my way of thinking.

JohnstonMR
Posts: 10
Joined: February 16th, 2010, 11:51 am
Contact:

Re: What are your pet peeves about your own writing?

Post by JohnstonMR » April 22nd, 2010, 3:32 pm

Sommer Leigh wrote:This wouldn't be a problem, maybe, for some stories. Except that mine is a post-apocalyptic YA horror where there is something just plain wrong with zombies that lay down rhythmic verse.
I don't know; I think that's kind of cool. I can imagine reading that and just stopping--"Why are the zombies rhyming?" Unless they're bio-zombies and not magic-zombies.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 1 guest