Finding and fixing my foibles

This manuscript has gone through so many rounds of changes, and recently I’ve done another couple of passes as I’ve learned more about my craft. The editing never stops!

Discovering my weaknesses as a writer is really the most valuable thing I’ve learned through this process so far. I have been making all the classic newbie author mistakes. Such as:

  • Using too many adverbs
  • Too much telling and not enough showing
  • Overexplaining mundane actions
  • Trying to make dialogue sound real by adding ums and errs
  • Lots of sighing, heavy breathing, etc
  • Too many dialogue tags
  • And probably specific to me – far too many instances of eyes: looking up/down, looking away, looking deep into/searching each other’s, glancing down, gazing into distance, etc etc.

I’ve been able to save thousands of words just from cutting out the mundane actions. I now realize I don’t need to tell the reader that Josie locks up her apartment, takes the elevator down, goes out into the street, gets on the subway, transfers at a station and arrives at her office. Nobody cares. She can simply be in her apartment and then just “An hour later, at the office” – readers will intrinsically know she commuted there and it doesn’t matter how.

Show versus tell is a trickier one to fix. I’m halfway there in that I can see where I’m doing it, but I don’t necessarily know how I can make it better.

Something else to work on and take another pass at! It’s a good thing I love my story because I’ve gone over it countless times at this point.

Here we go again!