Monday, June 4, 2012

This Book is Brought to You by the Letter 'C'


For me, the editing process is one of the most exciting aspects of writing.  Not only do you have the opportunity to really make your work shine, but if you have a bit of a sense of humor, it's a great opportunity to laugh at yourself.

There's always that one sentence that no matter how many times you've read your manuscript, someone else is going to catch.  In Ragtown, the line was:

 "Art lit his cigarette off Lance's butt."  (That is one hot butt!)

Then of course there is that one word that you didn't realize you used ten thousand times in a two hundred page manuscript.  In Ragtown it was 'exit'.  In Call Me Crazy it was 'just'. 
   
 So I've been looking for those sentences, those words and recently  discovered that my problem now is a letter. The letter 'C'.

As if the title Call Me Crazy isn't loaded with enough C's, I have characters named Cass, Clay, Benny Cloud, Claire and Clive.  The worst is Claire, because she is married to Benny. Yes. Claire Cloud.  Luckily, there isn't a scene where they all meet up.  Maybe if there had been, I would have noticed sooner:

Claire Cloud sat next to Clive at the cafe counter. She motioned to Cass who was chatting with Clay, the cook. "I could use a cold Coke like Clive's." (cluck, cluck, cluck)

Yes, I may have noticed my 'C' addiction had a sCene like this been in the book.  (I also would have thrown away my book of ideas and jabbed myself in the eye with a pencil).

So again, the benefit of editors, beta readers and not just rereading your manuscript, but analyzing it a bit for the little things.  Then laugh it off, reword a sentence, use another verb or, in this case, change a few names.

Trust me. You'll C a difference.
 
 

12 comments:

Krystal Wade said...

Nice alliteration? LOL. Now I'm going to have to see if I have a problem letter. I love the butt joke too.

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

I found that sentence on about the 200th run through of Ragtown after at least 10 other people had read it. I laughed so hard I cried.

tmycann said...

:D
I'll just say: YAY for editing!

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

and editing again, and again and again!

debrakristi said...

I LOVE that butt line. :D It's golden! I had a problem with the word "pop" on my first draft. I know enter words in my search and see how many times they get highlighted. It's enlightening. LOL. Beta's and editors are lifesavers.

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

I thought exit was weird in Ragtown. 'pop' is an odd one, too. Funny, isn't it?

Kellianne Sweeney said...

:) It's always good to look at things with a sense of humor. And a silly song does wonders too! So this is your C book. Which letter will you be highlighting next?(heehee)

janekelsey said...

Loved you article, golden! the joke is very good. now I have to find my problem letter too:D

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

I think I'll challenge myself and go for something like 'Q'. lol.

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

The great thing about 'C' is at least, cookie monster still loves me.

Charlieopera said...

Call Me Crazy is a terrific read.

I search for phrases and words I use over and over and have come up with as many as 50+ "smile, smiles, smiled" ... same with nod, nods, nodded ... etc,

It should always be a check at the end of a manuscript ... find those babies and either get rid of them or change them.

Now I gotta watch the Glee Concert ...

Adam Michael Luebke said...

You're right, editing might be one of pleasures of writing. It took a few years for me to understand this. Once the story is set down from start to finish, fine-tuning the language and scenes and dialogue, and perfecting the rhythms and themes is truly delightful. But, it takes time and effort. Lots of it. Great post!