C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

Editing Part II: Writerly idiosyncrasies

40 killer phrases

Image via Wikipedia

There are words you can lose without losing meaning. For example, writers who repeatedly precede statements with “I think” generate in their readers a suspicion of insecurity or uncertainty. Make your assertions, state your arguments, declare your narrative.

Writers have idiosyncrasies. Repeated phrases crop up. As you revise your manuscript, look for them and make a note.

Take the example “my own.” That can — and should — be shortened to “my.” That’s my own business. See? You lose nothing by losing “own.” What you gain is economy with this small edit and your reader will appreciate it (though they won’t know why.) I’m an editor. It’s my own business to know.

When you identify your own idiosycrasies, use the search and replace feature and you’ll find the number of instances of the phrase. You may not want to replace them all. Idiosyncratic phrases can be fine in dialogue.

I think that’s right.

No.

That’s right.

Filed under: Editing, Editors, publishing, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , , , ,

3 Responses

  1. Your blogs are so helpful to me and I plan to keep following and gleaning your brain.

    • Chazz says:

      Thanks for reading, Shirley. “Gleaning” my brain sounds oddly painful doesn’t it? I’m picturing a small three-pronged rake clawing through my neocortex. Also, I should get back to writing some horror. Hm. 🙂

  2. […] Editing Part II: Writerly idiosyncrasies (chazzwrites.wordpress.com) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

For my author site and the Chazz network, click the blood spatter below.

See my books, blogs, links and podcasts.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,858 other followers

Brain Spasms a la Twitter

%d bloggers like this: