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Friday, April 29, 2011

Follow Friday and It just keeps getting better and better...

Happy Follow Friday!  Let's take care of business, then I have some other helpful stuff I'd like to share.

The question this week is:

Who has been the most supportive of your writing?
My husband.  I started writing Seven Days and my other stories in August of 2006.  I was doing a lot of traveling for work and for Christmas (and 2007's birthday), he bought me a HP laptop.  It was a total thrill that he believed in me, because at the time, it was quite an investment.  I still use it, writing in the living room on MS Works, then Save it in Word and put it on flash drives and the new desktop in the office.  He gives me great lines for my characters, humors me when I'm "in writing mode" and says he looks forward to "being a kept man" when I make it big.  We'll talk some more about editing and writing Seven Days down below.

Your rules for Follow Friday (join the fun!)
1)      Follow this blog.
2)      Follow Elizabeth Sharp, the originator of this hop 9
3)      Follow the featured author of the week, MD Christie.
4)      Go to Sharp words and copy the image code found there and paste it in your blog. Add your name to the link at the bottom of the post while you are there.
5)      Copy and paste the rules in your blog, as well as this week’s question.
6)      Answer the question
7)      Follow, follow, follow. This is about networking, people, making connections with people in your community. So talk to us. We don't bite!
8)      If someone stops by, says hi and follows you, the polite thing to do is follow back.
9)      Comment here and introduce yourself and you just might find a new follower or two
So, the most current Jane Friedman blog link ( had a reference to the blog from Robert J. Sawyer, the science fiction writer (  I haven't read his work yet, but my husband and I were fans of ABC's "Flashforward," which was based on his novel.  Anyway, he has some lovely essays in the "On Writing" section of that link that would be helpful to any writer in any genre.  While they were written in the '90s, most everything still applies today.  BTW, I wrote him a "thank you" email and he wrote one back!

One in particular I printed out and did tonight, "Word processing Tricks."  I used the "Search" feature for words like "just" and "very" a few months ago and was horrified at how many times they showed up in my mss.  Mr. Sawyer suggests doing the search for "ly " (with the space after), to seek out some adjectives and adverbs.  He says, "If you needed an adjective or adverb to modify another word, perhaps you didn't choose the right word to begin with."  He suggests "huge" rather than "really large" and "thundering" rather than "pounding loudly." 

You may remember my dilemma of having to cut over a hundred pages, so I'm all over this.  You know what I found in just the first two sections of my mss.?  Enough single words on the following list to cut another page.  Let me repeat:  ANOTHER PAGE.  I didn't cut all of them, but there were enough that I was embarrassed. 

How many of these do you not need? 
gently (I never realized how often I used this)
probably (probably 3rd on the list, LOL)

Do I have your attention now?  Seriously, I used "immediately" and "quickly" in the same sentence!  He also suggested:  utilize (UGH!) => use, in order to => to and the fact that => that.  I still need to go back over the flipping thing to lose some more dashes and exclamation points.  *sigh* 

I've already used the Search to remove The F Bomb, which was unfortunately one of my character's favorite cuss word.  My aunt said she would love to read my work someday, but really hated when it was used.  You know, we don't want to do anything that would limit your market. 

There were other helpful hints in this one and in "Heinlein Rules."  So, I (started to use "just" dang it!) wanted to share another resource to thank you for giving me all these informative links.  Read:  Time sucks I putter around, rather than writing my own stuff.  Seriously, I'm a better writer for it.


  1. Hi, I'm visiting from the blog hop - I'm terrified of going through my MS with the suggestions you just posted! I'm an over user of "okay" but I never thought of those! Carp!

    Thanks :)

  2. You are certainly welcome and thanks for stopping by! Yeah, it was kind of horrifying. I'm tackling the next section tonight and no telling what I'll find...

  3. I use "just" all the dang time; but I'm "just" a mom. ;) Love ya, girl! I can't wait for him to be a kept man, either! I can't wait to read your books!

  4. Thanks so much for stopping by, Gina! Read a recent article that most of it is perserverance and actually sending stuff out there, so hoping to be that 1% published!

  5. Hi - thanks so much for your hop - can you believe it took me two hours to put my post together and when I got your email kids 3 had her bum in the air waiting for me to change her... but I've managed to post it now - thank goodness! I can't wait to have a peek around your blog :)

    I know what you mean about over use of words - I get so sick of myself - then when you manage to either swap 'said' word or change the whole paragraph I always think - now why the hell couldn't I have done that the first time! Its one of those things that have always stuck out like a sore thumb to me - even in published work. Hehe - gives us an opportunity to find new words to bridge the gap.


  6. Thanks for stopping by Karen--I know you're busy! One thing Sawyer said was not to worry about the word "said." The reader tunes it out. Good. One less thing to worry about, right? But, you're right. We all need to get over ourselves and be aware of our characters' word choices, rather than ours. See you next week!