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Editing Part II: Writerly idiosyncrasies

40 killer phrases

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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.


That’s right.

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

Vampires, What’s Hot & What Editors Want

Last year the word was, “We’re burnt out on vampires and werewolves! No more! No more!” New York editors say that every second year. Some even go so far as to pronounce the genre dead (despite Salem’s Lot, Anne Rice, Buffy, Team Edward etc.,…) You shouldn’t have believed those pleas from treacherous agents and editors.

Get this: Vampires do not die. Get it? They just don’t.

I just ran across a blog by author/agent Mandy Hubbard that confirms your worst fears about the immortality of the undead. She also drops some science on you about the art that’s coming out and what editors want. Great blog! The magic key to the kingdom right now has the initials MG.*


I don’t believe in trying to time the market (that goes for the stock market as well as the book market.) However, if you’ve got a manuscript that fits into these trends, you need to send it out again. Keep in mind, what was last year’s laughable proposal might be a hot prospect this year. Keep submitting!

Filed under: agents, blogs & blogging, Editors, publishing, web reviews, , ,

Bestseller with over 1,000 reviews!
Winner of the North Street Book Prize, Reader's Favorite, the
Literary Titan Award, the Hollywood Book Festival, and the
New York Book Festival.


Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

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An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

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