We’ve had two book reading parties now. Each Sunday for the last two weeks.
It’s going pretty well. It’s really hard listening to criticism, even constructive criticism. I am doing well not getting discouraged in general, but sometimes I look at the behemoth, wanting to edit, and I have no idea where to even start because my readers are making me think about so many new things.
We’ve covered the first 6 chapters. Not too bad, right? Only 43 more to go. Until I write more, that is. So far, Raine and my husband only told me that I need to completely reconstruct the first five pages of the story, but that after that it’s minor things. Characters sounding too old, dialogue having the same tone as narrative, people knowing how each other think a little too well. And the big one. The one that goes throughout all 630 pages of this monster.
That I have a tendency to start a lot of sentences with “and,” and “and so.”As I read through the most recent bits I’ve written, I see what they mean. It’s everywhere. According to Raine, it makes sentences weaker most times, but can be effective if used sparingly.
And so, I’ve decided to go through and slowly edit the entire story to take out a lot of those wordy “and sos.” Doing this just shows me how dang many there actually are. They’re everywhere. It’s like I had “and so” on the brain the entire time I was writing. Like I constantly walk around chanting it in my head and if I don’t write it down, I go nuts. It’s that bad.
The good news is that it’s an easy fix. Rearrange some words, change minor things, done. Move onto the next hundred “and sos.”
Another big one, not as big as “and so” but certainly related, is that I just tend to be wordy. Some of my sentences use twenty words when I could get the same point across just as well or better with ten. I’m working on that, too.
I’ve started the editing process on part 4, because that’s freshest in my mind. Parts 1, 2, and 3 all have some major problems that need fixing that Raine has already told me about. So I guess it’s very possible that my choice to edit part 4 is a form of procrastination because I’m scared to even start on the others.
If that’s the case… oh, well. I’ll get to them eventually. And in the meantime, I can just keep getting rid of those damn “ands” and “and sos.”