Good Monday morning gentle readers. As you know, I'm still sort of on blogging hiatus, or at least trying to be. I've been around the blogosphere but haven't been posting as much as I'd like. However, I've been working on my manuscript and have found a few things I'd like to share with you.
For those of you who haven't heard, I received another partial request for MASQUERADE. I was quite astounded actually because it came 7 hours after I sent the e-mail query. I am thrilled, yet tempering that with a good dose of reality. My last 5 partials were met with rejections so.... But like the good little professional writer I am, I sent it out this morning. Snail mail. Hey, did you know it only cost $2.07 to send 36 pages cross country? Snail mail might not break my piggy bank after all.
Any-hoo, because of this, I decided to give the manuscript one last look-see. Boy howdy am I glad I did. The first three chapters were polished until they sparkled. Except for THAT. The bane of my existance.
The word -- THAT. Four letters, four tiny little letters, that, if used in the wrong place, make you sound like a newbie. Believe it or not, I went through the whole ms. again. And I did not use the 'find' feature on my program. I re-read the whole thing. Guess what? I am now, believe it or not, 632 words lighter in the ms. Yes, you read correctly, 632 freaking words.
Who knew? Now some of these were changed to 'which', which I happen to like, and only one was changed to 'who', (thank God I payed attention in English class) but for the most part, I removed them. I also found a few places where I could re-write the entire sentence to make it THAT much better. All in all, I think I did a pretty good job.
While I was going through this, I also decided to see if I could find any FELTS. I'm so proud of myself, I only had two. One I couldn't change, the other I reworded.
JUST is another one of my ugly words but I must have caught all those during the first 1200 revisions. I know they're in all my first drafts.
Then we come to WAS, however, this is a whole other animal. WAS is easy, WAS is quick, WAS is simple. Everybody loves WAS. She was tired, he was smiling, it was hot. OH. MY. GOD. I am now on page 192 (for this I cheated, I did use the 'find' feature as it WAS going to take me forever to find them all). I think the manuscript is so much better for it. Everything is more descriptive, has more flesh, more meat on the bones. I kept a few in there because sometimes WAS is just the best word to use. You know what I mean.
Perhaps now I know why I received the 5 rejections on the partials. I'm supposed to know what I'm doing when I say I'm writing a book. I thought I did. But you know, I have to say, it's true, you really do need some time away from a ms. before you go back and edit. It's been three months since I looked at it with fresh eyes. Unfortunately those fresh eyes caught every stupid mistake a newbie makes. So I guess I'm not as hot-shit as I thought I WAS!
Anyway, thanks for stopping by today. I don't know when I'll be back, probably when I find some other stupid thing I've done to tell you, so you don't do it. We can all learn from my mistakes. I think I've made them all.
Have a great Monday!