Having surpassed 2.5 million words in the Freelan series of WIPs, and adding even more in a collection of short stories as well as in a book of fantasy stories underway, I have begun noticing certain “write-isms” (not sure what else to call them). These are words and phrases that I seem to use habitually – a bit of wordiness that I am slowly catching and fixing.
One such word-ism is “a bit,” as in “I feel a bit tired” instead of “I feel a little tired” or “I feel rather tired.” In fact, “a bit” appears 217 times in the first book in the Freelan series (Hammil Valley Rising). Since I’m in the process of what I hoped would be a final read-thru, I’ll hunt them all down and change most, if not all, of them (thank goodness for the Find feature in MS Word).
There are others I catch here and there, such as “for awhile” which should either be “awhile” or “for a while” or something else such as “for an hour or so,” depending on the context. The tough job is recognizing them. They have become second nature in my writing. Sigh. Even Word’s grammar checker doesn’t pop them all up.
Hope you can catch your “write-isms” – those pat phrases and words that you use by habit. They are good at hiding in plain site, so fuel your brain with some nice hot tea and pumpkin pie.
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