By choice, though, I must say. I’m pretty shy with a very highly-developed inferiority complex and big-ass conferences like that are probably not my cup of tea. The only thing that makes me want to cry in my Wheaties is knowing that some of my friends will be there, hanging out, and I won’t be there. It would be nice to actually get to speak to Rae and Jaci and other friends in person someday.
Alison’s going to be doing a series of posts this week discussing Pat Holt’s Ten Mistakes Writers Donâ€™t See (But Can Easily Fix When They Do) essay, starting with Repeats.
Just about every writer unconsciously leans on a â€œcrutchâ€ word. (â€¦) Crutch words are usually unremarkable. Thatâ€™s why they slip under editorial radar – theyâ€™re not even worth repeating, but there you have it, pop, pop, pop, up they come. Readers, however, notice them, get irked by them and are eventually distracted by them, and down goes your book, never to be opened again.
Apparently my “crutch” words for Roadtrip were ass and behind. And I never knew it until it was pointed out by a fabulously brilliant reader who graciously did a during-edits read for me.
Neither the threat of bamboo shoots nor water torture could force me to confess how many times I used those two words—in the first thirty pages alone. He checks out her ass, she checks out his ass, he feels like an ass, she calls him an ass, she feels like an ass, and there are behinds everywhere. And, though the overuse never registered on my radar, it certainly stood out to the reader. (Of course, as I’ve already mentioned, she is fabulously brilliant.)
And when I did that word incident count thingy, then I felt like an ass. I think I used ass even more than I used just.