As you know, I've recently spent some time editing #ProphecyStory, moving towards sending it out. Editing requires multiple steps. I have to get peer review, look over the plot, and search for any factual or character inconsistencies. I have to think about how the story would look to a professional in the business. I've also taught myself to pay close attention to when I get a little bit of an "off" feeling while reading my work. Usually, it means that I've tried to suspend disbelief a little too much.
On top of all that, there is the dreaded line edit, where I go through and make sure every word has its place (and get rid of that darned passive voice). This is very time-consuming. It also gets kind of frustrating. So in order to make it slightly easier, I've compiled a list of words to eliminate or minimize in my novels so that I can search them out specifically.
Many of these words I found through searching the Internet for unnecessary phrases to edit out. This was quite useful. Some of these words naturally lend themselves to passive voice and therefore need to be paid attention to. Then still others are my personal word weaknesses, which I use way too often and need to destroy.
In order to help all you writers out there, I thought I'd post my list of words (and some formatting tips). I guess it's my way of giving back to the beautiful Internet that originally helped me find some of these! Keep in mind as you go through that these are all in past tense forms.
Words to Eliminate
Words That Often Cause Passive Voice
Words That Are Overused
My Own Word Weaknesses
For a moment
*the "of" is unnecessary
Something I recently learned is that there is a different between en and em-dashes. En-dashes are used in rare circumstances, like in the name BYU - Idaho. (*wink*) You create them by placing a hyphen "-" with spaces separating it from the adjoining words. The em-dash is what you use to break up or add to a sentence--like this. You create them by placing two hyphens with no space between them and the adjoining words, Most programs will automatically create a prettier version of those dashes if you type them out like that.
I use em-dashes way too much.
Also, don't forget to properly format before you send out your manuscript! Most of you know the very basics: double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman or similar font, with one inch margins. You should also know that you do not use the Tab key when you indent paragraphs. You use a standard tab on the ruler. You should also justify your paragraphs (except for centered titles), rather then having them aligned right. The page break function is also very useful for starting a new chapter without hitting the enter key three thousand times. Include a running header with your last name, the book title, and the page number. Finally, on the title page, you should have at the top your name and contact information along with the approximate word count.
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