Monday, February 20, 2012

497, 498, 499...

Shoes? No.
Cats? Never.
Diamonds? I can dream.

But no. Those numbers represent the overly repetitive use of the word 'just.' Natalie was editing her latest manuscript and found the word used over 500 times.  Yikes! So I did a check on the word 'had' in Sirenz Back In Fashion, which I'm editing now. It was used 297 times.

Did we need all of them? No.

Some of them? Yes.

Over the course of 60,000+ words, that's barely a bump. But where I deleted it, it made the sentence stronger because had is a helping verb. I like to think of it as 'helping ' water down the action (I jumped vs. I had jumped.  Both are past tense, do you really need the 'had'? No.)

I'll get back to you and let you know how many I took out. Maybe you'll want to look at your manuscripts and see which words you overuse and get rid of them. Keep a few, but dump the rest. If you're looking to reduce your word count, this is a great place to start.


1 comment:

  1. Wow that's a lot of unnecessary words! Good luck with the editing.