My obedience trainer at PetsMart won’t let us use the word “NO” because up here in WI a favorite catch phrase is “you know?” and dogs can’t tell the difference. Having just finished edits for my upcoming “Dust of Dreams” (sheesh, I just typed “Drams” – what am I, a time-traveling apothocary?) I can tell you that I apparently have other “favorite words” that appear in my manuscripts on a fairly regular basis. The reason they do not appear in my BOOKS is because of a long-suffering saintly editor who has a highlighter and is NOT afraid to use it.
In “Dust” it was “eyes.” If eyes are the “windows to the soul” I have the most soulful characters in fiction b/c there were over 300 little highlighted peepers. I’m admittedly a visual person, so I always start w/visual description and then have to go in and re-layer w/sound/scent/etc. Apparently, all my characters are visual, too! <sigh> Linda innocently suggested I “describe the characters more for first-time readers” and the eye fiasco was the result.
I meant well. I had the best of intentions. But apparently my characters have no height, breadth, complexion – or hair. Just eyes. Argh! So how to go back and replace? One “long blond hair” here, one “growly” voice there. Also, an exhaustive use of my thesaurus – looked, glanced, glared, gazes that “sear” or “pin”, stared, frowned, etc.
That wasn’t the end of it. I’m also an ellipses (…) addict, and overly fond of “wet velvet” tongues. I also needed to develop her wings more (heroine Pryseis is a faerie, w/wings, who doesn’t fly – her wings are solar panels). I also have to watch for transposed letters. (I turned one character, “Vali”, into “Vila”!)
I’m not a writer. I’m a re-writer.
Thanks God for editors. Mine needs a raise!
“Dust of Dreams” comes out in all its diligently edited glory on July 13, 2010.
Anyone else out there have their own little “catch phrases?”