Antenna (antennapedia) wrote,
Antenna
antennapedia

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Writing ticks of un-goodness

When I'm in line-edit mode prepping to publish/post/inflict a story on an unwitting world, I work extra-hard to catch a few writing problems I know I'm prone to.

• Word use-pairs. That is, a slightly unusual or otherwise attention-catching word used twice in succession. Separated by several sentences in a paragraph, usually.
• Overused basic building-block words: moment, realize, suddenly.
• Weasel adverbs not in dialog (and sometimes even there): very, rather, quite, and their milquetoast friends.
• Unusual words used more than one in the entire story, even widely separated. (For instance, in "Initiation" I stomped out one use of "forestall", because I thought the story could handle at most one instance of it.)
• A repeated dialog pattern: "Short phrase," he said. "Longer stretches of dialog follow that initial break."

There are other things that I don't consider errors on my part that I try to smooth over as I go. I mentioned a few of them in my earlier post about line editing.

Not that my Rupertus Domesticus story is in this stage yet. Sigh. Still struggling.
Tags: craft
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