Final edits can be maddening, can’t they? As I go through my list of overused words, I always find new things that make me giggle.
My current giggle-a-thon is coming in the form of teenage explicatives. They sound perfectly right in-context. “Oh my gosh, you are not going to do that!”
Buy when I ran a search on “Oh” and my screen lit up with pretty highlights—I realized how many of my main character’s dialog lines start with the word “Oh”. It’s funny really.
The good thing about using the search feature to ferret out these little problem is you can look at each instance outside of the frame of the narrative. It’s much easier to edit when you are not getting “caught up” in the story.
So, at the moment I am in final edits for Fire in the Woods, and I am removing a good portion of the “Oh my gosh”, “Oh my God”, “Oh crap,” and of course, the every-so intrusive “umm”.
Of course, I am leaving in a few for color, but I’m trying to cut my repetition down to once every ten pages or more. (Quite a feat at times.)
How do you search and destroy over-used words and phrases?