Adding Zip to Your Manuscript
Cut and Replace boring and predictable
I’ve been finishing my second novel, Imperfections for the past year. I feel like I’ve finally reached the home stretch. One of the indicators is the task of scanning for redundancies. I think of them as lazy familiar words we fall back upon when banging out a story. Examples: like, was, he/him, she/her, they/them, and as; passive verbs, nouns and phrases penned by an average fifth-grader. Walk, sat, looked, hand, etc. “I looked in his eyes,” “got in the car”, ‘he took my hand’, and so forth.
I troll the books of authors I admire for strategies and stylistic tweaks applying them in my own stories. I employ the use of beta readers. I recon with thesaurus.com .
I am a mercenary in the act of assist in reducing boring and repetitive words and phrases. I unpack the annals of my aging brain and attack my manuscript executing the find function in the Word program.
The Control and f key combination identifies 68 instances of the offending verb, ‘walk’. I apply the literary gorilla wordfare. I slice and burn reducing the offenders to thirty instances and move to the next offending word trap.
The effort results in a tighter and more resonant story and I avoid the pitfalls of the mundane.