Tuesday, January 03, 2006

She Sings the Sexy Dance, We Are the Audience; She's Got Spaghetti Straps, Our Hands Are In Our Laps

After a marathon session yesterday--about 200 pages in 9+ hours, which comes to something like 20 pages an hour, which is slooooow--the last of the marking up of the newest manuscript is done. And it's still good, I think, although there's nothing like intense scrutiny to make you aware of your writing idiosyncracies.

My characters like to say more or less the same thing two or three times, in different ways. They're redundant. They repeat themselves. A lot. They also--far too often for my taste--interrupt themselves, and . . . hesitate. And they--they stutter. A lot. When they get ranty they bring up a lot of things that are irrelevant to the matter at hand, and indeed to the story at large. They don't matter. They're beside the point. Did I mention that much of what the characters say is redundant? They make lists, of things that they want to tell you, things they think you should know, things to remember. The narrator does this, too. Repeats himself. A lot. He also does this thing--I'm not sure I can explain it--where he modifies a verb with a verb, without really meaning to. I don't have it in front of me so I cannot present evidence of this. But he--they--OK, I--are properly ashamed. I'm not even mentioning all the nasty helping verbs I had to hunt down and destroy, which for Cthulhu's sake I ought to know better by now.

Considering that I was hoping to trim about 6K words out of the manuscript, the fact of the excess is probably sort of a good thing. But man, what a sobering mirror to look into . . .


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude. I am _living_ in one of your stories.


- H

5:18 PM  
Blogger Greg van Eekhout said...

Yeah, I have the same problem with redundancy. I look at it as multiple drafts folded into one document.

I'd be interested to see an example of this verb modifying a verb thing.

10:18 PM  

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