Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Limits of "Looked"

I've taken time today to start editing my Nanowrimo from last year, the sequel to Faerie Games, and I noticed there's one word that keeps popping up in my first person style. "Looked" has become the bane of my existence within the first chapter. That's a word with a lot of synonyms, too, but not all of them are appropriate. There's stared, glanced, gazed, peered, beheld, gawked, gaped, perused, examined, all kinds! And yet, I keep writing this one word, over and over again. It's useful to use a ton of synonyms for Finn, he's all old fashioned and fancy. Melissa is a modern girl with a gritty attitude, though and that kind of diction doesn't have that many variations of the word "looked" at its disposal.

This is going to be a very long book at this rate...close to 110,000 words so far. I have to whittle out all these little instances of look to make sure it doesn't get too repetitive, or is this word like "said" in that it just gets looked over? And there it is again! Then again, there are a lot of little words that get repeated a lot in the first draft. Grins, smiles, those are popular expressions for someone to give. There are just so many of these words that are so common! There can't be synonyms for all of them that are appropriate in every little circumstance.

Edits are frustrating no matter what stage of the process, or whatever the issue. This is, by far, my least favorite stage, perfecting the language till it shines. I would much rather change things like plot, characters: revisions! But edits are necessary and going through the manuscript with many fine-toothed combs makes it all sparkly, right? I'll make that sacrifice to get my writing top-notch.

That doesn't mean I have to enjoy doing it.

1 comment:

  1. Best of luck to you on the editing. I happen to like all revisions, makes me a stronger writer.