Edit Coma

January 22, 2012 at 9:26 PMKatie McGarry

Book I'm currently reading: Taking a break from reading because of intensive edit.

This morning's running conditions:  57 degrees; storms rolled through last night so it smelled like rain this morning and beams of sunlight rained down between the leftover gray clouds

Song I placed on repeat while running: Don't Let Me Get Me by P!nk

Why I love the song: I totally understand how she feels

Love the lyrics:

I'm a hazard to myself
Don't let me get me
I'm my own worst enemy

 

E-mail message from beta reader:

 I’m back to reading Crash.  Wow.

 My response:

 Aw come on. Self confidence lacking author of said story is losing her mind in tedious edit of, how many times did I use that word? Is that the best way to describe that? How many freaking times can I use the word lip in a kissing scene without people noticing I'm overusing the word?--wants to know what wow means.

 Wow--this severely sucks?

Wow--didn't see that coming?

Wow--she can put three words together, combine it with a period, and create a sentence?

Yes, sadly enough, I’ve hit that stage of editing. The stage where I feel like everything is closing in—where I walk around in a word coma.

In case anyone is wondering, a word coma is where I print out each chapter and circle all the verbs and descriptive words to see which ones I overused. Because I have a tendency to overuse words. A lot.

For instance, in the chapter I’m currently editing I used the word shake at least ten times in five pages. TEN TIMES.

Really, Katie? Ten times? Use a thesaurus, girl.

How about tremble, quiver, quake, shudder, shiver? None of those sounded good to you?

And there are always my most common overused words: stare, look, glance

Because I obviously doomed my characters into a dimension where they are unable to convey body language signs with anything other than their eyes. 

“I love you,” he said while he stared straight into my eyes.

I glanced at him from beneath my eyelashes. “I love you, too.”

Seriously? You guys can’t touch or hug or kiss? I am writing a love story here. Get with the program!And then there’s always my favorite part of editing…the moment I realize I’ve broken POV rules. For instance: He tilted his head so he could get a better glimpse at the guy.

The sentence may sound innocent, but it’s not. I’m in limited first person and she’s making a huge assumption here. How does she know he’s tilting his head to get a better glimpse at the guy? He could be tilting his head because he has a neck cramp or because he’s deep in thought or maybe he has a medical condition that causes him to have a tick where he tilts his head for no reason.

Hey…who knows? But that’s the point…she doesn’t know and therefore she should be keeping her opinion to herself as to why he tilted his head.  Just freaking say…He titled his head.

So, as I continue to slowly lose my mind and over analyze everything I wrote I get this response from my beta reader:

Wow--great writing.

 Forest from the trees, Katie. Forest from trees.

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