Wee James would like to thank everyone for their well-wishes. He's feeling much better! (Good enough to steal Jim Sturgess's sexy coat, obvs.)
I had a lot of new visitors leave comments on my last post. Thank you, and welcome to my blog! I hope you all stick around for the pie. Big thanks to Kiersten White, Natalie Whipple, and Katie Anderson for linking to my post (and for being wonderful in general), and thank you to everyone who tweeted about it. I spent — ah hem — a LONG time writing it. It feels really, really nice to know the work was appreciated.
There were so many great comments, and I'd like to share with you the ones that held more self-editing tips.
Rachel Bateman said:
"One word I think all writers should have on their overused list is THAT. It seems to be one of the most overused words of all time. If I catch myself using it, I stop myself and think long and hard about whether or not I really need it. Then, at the end, I do a find to see how many I missed–most of these can be removed as well."
It's on my list, too! Though I must confess, the first time I became aware of THAT problem, I removed waaaaay too many, and the language became unnatural. So yeah. Watch out for "that" . . . but don't carried away, like I did.
Super Agent Daphne Unfeasible said:
"Regarding your advice to 'Keep a list of the words you overuse. (My list, among many things, includes: grin, smile, eyes, laugh, hand.) Every time you finish a new draft, do another "Find" search. Eliminate some of these.', Rexroth recommends creating a Wordle on your manuscript and using it to weed out the overused words. And I think Rexroth is very very wise."
Rexroth IS wise, because he married you, and you are fabulous! This is great advice. I've bookmarked Wordle so many times I've lost count, but I'll definitely hit it up on my next draft. Especially after seeing . . .
Valerie's follow-up comment:
"I second Daphne about Wordle but I think it works even better on a chapter by chapter basis. I find it's helpful to use on a chapter or scene sequence so that I can see if I'm using the same words over and over when focused on one topic or event. When you're doing your entire manuscript there might not be enough instances of a word for it to show up, but when checking out just that chapter you might find that you've used it way too much."
Excellent! Thank you!
"I also think on your list of things to read and learn about writing a book is the Not For Robots site. Sooo much goodness there!"
YES. I credit Laini Taylor's Not for Robots site for helping me complete my first full, pretty draft. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Love love LOVE. If you've never read it, GO FORTH IMMEDIATELY.
Shelley also asked:
"You seem to be accumulating more boyfriends...is that allowed?"
Of course it's allowed.
As long as I keep my Only Full-Time Live-In Celebrity Boyfriend, Chris Martin, away from my brilliant-but-curmudgeonly boyfriend, Thom Yorke, everyone is just happy for the extra company.
The last time Chris and Thom were here at the same time, one of them enjoyed it more than the other.
Poor Chris. He's such a sweetheart.
Hmm, what's next? This whole post is a bit scattered, as things keep popping up, and I'm finding less and less time to address them.
Less time because . . . it's NaNoWriMo time!
Which means this November, I'll be working on THREE novels — Anna, Lola, and the brand-new Third Novel.
It's a good thing I'm a professional. (Snert.)
Normally, I'd explain why I love National Novel Writing Month, and why you should try it, blah blah blah, but this year I'll just direct you to an interview I did about NaNo with Sarah at Bookduck. This interview was extra-special because not only was it Sarah's first interview, it was also mine!
[Sarah, I'm honored to have lost our interview virginity together. We're, like, legit now. BUT WHY HAVEN'T YOU CALLED? Didn't last weekend mean ANYTHING to you??]
And here's a link to last year's NaNo post. Good stuff there. Also, if you're interested in being my writing buddy, I'm naturallysteph in NaNo-land.
Okay. What's next?
[Steph consults actual, typed list.]
Oh, yeah! This has already been Link-O-Rama Central, but here are two more, if you'd like to get in the Halloween spirit, in a famous writerly way:
Neil Gaiman's 30-Second Scary Story, halfway down the page = Genius (And, yes, Neil. You can read me to sleep any night. Every night.)
Diana Gabaldon's Real-Life Ghost Story = Fascinating
[Steph consults list again.]
Myrna-Foster-Finally-Has-A-Blog gave me an award for Sheer Awesomeness! Thank you so much, Myrna! I find you incredibly awesome, too.
[Steph consults list again.]
[Steph sees remaining list is answering more questions.]
[Steph dies a little.]
[Steph decides to answer them in the next post.]
Happy Halloween, everyone!
Please eat forty-two Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and watch Sleepy Hollow. We'll talk again once we've calmed down from our sugar rush.