I have a problem.
I like to use naughty words.
No! Not THOSE kinds of naughty words! Gees.... I write Young Adult, people!
But although the words of which I speak are not the taboo, four letter bar-of-soap-in-mouth kind of words, they ARE words that will make your writing posse cringe, send your editor into a red-pen scribbling frenzy and cause your agent to loose sleep at night...
That is, if I had an editor.... and an agent.... which I don't....
Nonetheless, the words of which I speak, are words I'm certain you've all been guilty of over-using at least once or twice in a WIP:
was, were, very and--sadly--anything ending in "ly."
I try not to. I really do. Last week during my writing posse meeting, I was [see, there I go again with the was!] so excited because I had gone through and scrupulously eliminated all but 3 or 4 was-es from my pages.... only to find out that I had overdone it with the "ly."
Can't a girl ever win?
I used to think it weird that people actually noticed the use of "was" and "ly" adverbs in manuscripts. I have to admit that--until recently--I didn't notice it at all, either when fellow struggling-to-get-published friends used them, nor when actual published authors used them.
HOWEVER, now that its been pounded into me by several of my writer friends, including--but not limited to--Kristi-freakin'-sparkles-Pritchett (thanks, girl!), have t to admit:
I notice it now.
I think writing is better without it.
Look what you've done, Kristi Pritchett... you'd done gone and made me a good writer!
Its still a struggle. At present, my natural inclination is to use "was," "were" and "ly" all the time. But the good news is: I notice it!
Which basically is just another way of saying that my editing process is much LONGER, because I have to sit and think of ways I can say things different, but still get the same idea across. [sigh] No one ever said this job was easy!
But seriously, I love being apart of a writing critique group. Simple little mistakes (like the was-es) that I don't often notice and wouldn't have thought were "bad," can be fixed with a simple suggestion. Which will, in turn, be a great improvement to my writing. This, I think, is the awesome thing about being in a writing critique group.
Well, that, and the social aspect, of course ( :
[That was my shout out support for critique groups... if you're not in one, take a hint and go join one! They're the best!]
But enough about me, what are some of YOUR formidable writing sins?