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?
Posted in Author Advice, Senseless Ranting
Tagged advanced search, editing, frequently used words, Google, Languages, Linguistics, literary umm, Natural, overused words, Social Sciences, Web search engine, Words you hate, writing
I’ve run into a conundrum. It’s kind of a good conundrum – betas are loving Fire in the Woods… until they get to one point.
I partly expected the responses:
“This is confusing, but if no one else says anything, ignore me.” And “This is distracting. Is there another way to do this?”
So, this is my problem. Fire in the Woods is told in “First Person” (the “I” Point of view)
There is a large sequence where people around my main character are speaking another language, and she can’t understand them. To keep the continuity of the story, I wrote the whole sequence in English. Then I went back and translated it.
I figured there would be some people who wanted to know what they were saying, so I subtitled it. I also figured people who wanted to stay in Jess’s confused POV would not even glance at the subtitles. So far, this seems to be backfiring.
So, this is my question: How should I handle this scene? I don’t want to keep saying over and over “they spoke in their weird language” or something like that, but I obviously can’t leave in all the foreign dialect.
Have you ever seen something like this done well in a published work? Have you read a passage where characters are speaking another language, and the POV character doesn’t understand them?
I have an idea what to do, but before I do a lot of work and screw things up, I’d like to see an example of someone doing it WELL.
- An Easy Fix for a Tighter Point of View (writersinthestorm.wordpress.com)
- Difficult POV (storytreasury.wordpress.com)
Posted in Senseless Ranting
Tagged Arts, ENGLISH, english language, language, Linguistics, Narrative mode, Natural, point of view, POV, Social Sciences, writing