Tuesday 4 June 2013

I'm So Sick Of Words

These last few days I've been in turbo mode, killing page after page of corrections in my wip. I haven't come across a single page that doesn't have some kind of red mark, strikethrough, warning label or personal threat to my safety if I keep making the same mistakes over and over again.  Actually, I am exaggerating a tad, can't you tell? I did come across one page that didn't have a single notation on it. I was so surprised that I held it up to the light like an X-ray to make sure I didn't miss the edit mark. After ten minutes of searching for Waldo, I decided my editor must have accidentally skipped this page (pg 236). (;

So right now, I'm sick of my words and having to correct the most asinine things that I should have caught myself! But no, only I can mix US and UK English as if the Declaration of Independence never happened, write desert for dessert--twice, have multiple ways of writing the em-dash, as for compound words--never use them when I should. Consistency? Never heard of it. Palette and  palate? Close enough. *facepalm* 

Anyway, Eliza pretty much sums up my current feelings about words and yet, she still has the audacity to remind me that I need to show not tell.     


  1. LOL we have different spelling for things over the US too, can be quite the pain in the arse

  2. Don't be too hard on yourself, Elise. I think we ALL suffer through this. I've blogged a couple of times on the unattainable notion of perfection we seem to strive for.

    Each time I send something to the editor I think, "This is it. This is the time she reads it and says she has nothing left to offer me because I've finally mastered the craft." I don't really believe that, but I definitely think it in some dark, stupidly hopeful corner of my brain.

    Then I get it back, and see all of the 5th grade grammar rules I've obliterated, and that I've set a record for using the word 'looking' in a 15,000 word story (I'm sure I'm in the Guinness Book somewhere...). :(

    Anyway, the only way for me to make peace with my crappiness is to vow to learn one more thing each time I go through the process. If I spam a word this time, I won't next time. If I'm getting my action/reactions turned around (easier to do than you think...) I try to not do it so much the next time. It mostly works. :)

    In the end, it's why we have editors, and you'll grow from the process. Most importantly, your story will rock when you're done with all of the tedium. :)

  3. I was taught that the difference between desert and dessert is that dessert has two scoops - s's, like ice cream. Of course, then I want to eat ice cream.... :)

  4. Don't stress it! My last manuscript came back with mistakes I'd made in the beginning and was still making. Just think how awesome it will be when you finish.

  5. I love the picture you use here because I have totally felt like that and done that while editing. Then I go and stand in the corner and stare at the wall for a while.

    Great clip, by the way. Perfect for this situation.

  6. I just had a reviewer point out that I used heal for heal. Infuriates me. Not at the reviewer, but at myself. I went over that book for years. Several pairs of eyes scoured it and still it got missed. Freaking sucks. My mom says, "Meh, blame the editor." Nice of her, but it's my name on the cover; so it's my responsibility.

  7. Hey Elise,

    Ah yes, I never worry about such stuff. I do however, write in proper English as in English, English! For instance, I can have my spell check be absolutely fine with "colour", but, "color", oops red underline.

    I have no problem with any of this. Besides, despite my proper English spellings, I'm actually a grammar anarchist. And I love your typo in your article and that's no "exaggerating"! Ha ha and ha! Such a sunny day in my neighborhood, oops, neighbourhood!

    Gary :)

  8. Pat: No kidding. It's strange, but I have this thing with the word 'towards' I say it and spell it every single time with an 's' which is UK English. But for some reason to say toward without s (US English) gets under my skin and drives me crazy. Weird.

    EJ: LOL! Thanks EJ, I appreciate it. I'm afraid to do a search for the word 'look' in my ms, though I have a feeling 'smile' may actually come out on top. I've got a list of words I need to do a search and find for when the edits are finished. And yes, I need to remember everything learned from this project will make the second that much easier. (:

    Madeline: Two scoops! Brilliant! Thanks Madeline. (:

    Alex: Well, if it isn't awesome, I'd like to at least have it idiot proof...that's asking a lot isn't it. (;

    MJ. *Go stands in corner* (;

    Elizabeth: Yeah, that sucks. There is so much pressure to get it out perfectly especially when our names on it. I'd feel the same way you do.

    Gary: Oh good, some one was praying attention as I traveled in a mighty challenging space suite. No, I'm not exaggerating. Spell check sux. (;

  9. I scan for " you" so that I can find every instance of "you", "your", and "you're" and I promise you, I always find one or two misused. :)

    Don't be so hard on yourself. lol

  10. Wow, it's been years since I've seen that but that song is perfect. I know where you're coming from. Hang in there, it's leading to a published manuscript.

  11. Yes indeed, I was "praying attention". And paying attention, for that matter! Ha ha and ha! :) I have now "travelled" away from your site. As I'm floating in my tin can.....

  12. I think we can all identify with this particular problem *your pic captures my mood today, perfectly* Hang in there:)

  13. I totally understand where you're coming from! My good friend has been looking over my wip and the comments and highlights I got back from him... ugh. HA. I mix US and UK English all the damn time :(

  14. Only compensation is that each time you go through the less errors there are. I've had some challenges with US/British English and still do. The adult stuff I write using American English. The YA stories, I stick with British English based on the spelling we use in Jamaica. Wouldn't want to confuse the local kids who'll eventually be reading my stories.

  15. Oh, I know that feeling so well! Don't worry, just keep doing what you are doing and eventually you will like your words again...I hope. Just remember that you are simply making your story better. Good luck.

  16. Yeah Elise, you show those words who's boss!! :)

    Hey, don't feel bad...at least your working at it and getting things done. Keep at it!

  17. I hate when I miss the most ridiculous things in my own MS. I think I feel better about it these days because I read a book by an author who pointed out that when we're first writing our story, it's only comprehensible to us and we need beta readers & the like to help us make sense of it to others. It's completely normal to write crap at first, even it you'll probably never get used to it! I probably never will.

  18. I have a way of repeating a favorite phrase or word several times in one paragraph. I guess I like the sound of the words. . .

    I've got some red marks in my revisions too. It's a writer's life. I'm working with a mentor to polish away some of my bad habits. I use the two-three day rule a friend told me about. If you let it sit for a few days, then it mellows.

  19. Diane: Excellent tip, Diane. I've most likely got a few 'your - you're' words typed in wrong. I think I'm going to become acquainted with search and find pretty soon.... (:

    Sara: Thanks Sara. I love that song. (:

    Gary: I couldn't stop myself...it just kept staring at me...so I fixed it. (;

    Writerlysam: LOL, you hang in there too. (:

    Azia: Isn't is so damn frustrating! But things do get cleaned up after a few rounds of edits. (:

    Joy: That is a really interesting point. I can see now how important it would be for you to maintain a British English for your MG books, something I would have never thought of.

    Murees: Thank you Murees. I do try to remind myself that it's for the greater good of the story, but it can be so frustrating at times. Thanks for stopping in. (:

    Mark: Thanks! Sometimes it's hard but I just keep plodding along. (:

    Cathy: I think as long as we care about our stories, we'll never get used to it. But it still sucks, lol!

    D.G. Sounds like good advice. I have pet phrases that I use often too. I'm in the process of scratching some of them out. They're usually silly phrases like: folded his arms over his chest, sort of thing. Apparently, my characters cross their arms a lot, lol!

  20. I always remember reading a Regency romance where the heroine was about to leave the house and before she did so she "peed at the mirror" and that was before computers. I didn't get Elizabeth's comment about heal and heal, what's the difference?

    Hang in there, the end is in site (guess I mean sight).


  21. Maybe time for a short break? I hope you survive the edits. Hang in there! *Dwarves cheering loud* Elise! Elise!

  22. Hey, I find mistakes in the books published by the big six, or is it the bit five now?

  23. I have a feeling you're not alone in this. I know I still find silly mistakes even after multiple read throughs.

  24. That must be a European finger. We don't make them like that where I'm from. ;-)

    The red just means you're worth the effort, Elise.

  25. Don't blame the Declaration. Blame Noah freaking Webster. He's the one that created American English as a thing because we just had to be different from Britain.

    Good luck with the edits. There has to be a time where there are no more red marks, right? RIGHT??

  26. Revisions are definitely not fun!

  27. finger it long enough, it'll come [cum?] lmfao ;)

    writing does not begin til the rewrite... rewrite... rewrite... ad nauseum....

  28. You, madam, are a true writer.

  29. Oh my gosh... Elise, I get this. I soooooooo get this. But there *is* a light. One word at a time! Then one sentence at a time! Just like Mark said above me, you're a true writer!

  30. Red marks can be so overwhelming. I feel your pain.

    Yeah, and those silly mistakes...if I kicked myself each time I missed something obvious, I'd be all bruised and possible crippled.

  31. Jo: "peed at the mirror" that's funny, but I've heard worse...books with typos like 'he sh*tted' instead of 'he shifted. Oops! And I think Elizabeth meant heel vs heal. Oh and don't get me on site vs sight, if I'm not careful (which is often) I'll mess that one up for sure. ):

    Al: No break for me, at least not until I finish this. Besides, cheering dwarves have motivated me to keep going!! (:

    Richard: That is true. You'd think they could print a perfect copy considering the money that goes into the finished product. Or maybe it's not as much as I think...

    mshatch: Yeah, I know getting a perfect ms is difficult, but some mistakes just infuriate me. Hopefully I won't make so many on my next project. Actually, I know I will, I just hope I won't make the same mistakes. (;

    Jeff: Haha! I don't know if that's an EU finger, all I know is I'm not picky over the type of bird I give my wip. (;
    And thanks, Jeff, I really hope so.

    JEFritz: Right! Right? :D

    Sherry: Edits are great--when they're finished. (:

    Lawolf: LOL! Bad doggy! rewrite...rewrite...and rewrite s'more... (;

    Mark: I don't know...most of the time I feel like a true waste of time.

    Morgan: I see the light, it's so close...yet soooooo far away!

    Krystal: LOL, I'd been in the hospital. (;

  32. Sound like it's all going according to plan. A good dose of the red pen does your soul good (eventually).


  33. Sounds like you have a great editor.

  34. OMG! hahaha I come to your blog and find a picture of you shooting the bird!
    I nearly fell over. :P

    Don't fret, Elise. That's what editors are for. We fiction writers are focused on the story when we write, not the grammar so much. Don't feel bad.

  35. OK seriously that picture is priceless. Sometimes I have to completely break from the whole writing, blogging, reading word thing. Just .. go visual for awhile.

  36. This is the greatest post ever. <3

  37. I've heard it said that editing is where the real writing begins, and I believe it. Trust me, all this work will only make your amazing story better. Hugs and best wishes!


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