Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Higher Power of Revision -- Robin

I’ve been pretty blurry-eyed lately, pouring through the edits Jay and Eve gave me for my manuscript, The Happiness Project. Looking at all their slash marks, I realized that I have some serious word addictions.

I used to think my only word addiction was to the word wonky. I love saying that word...and I don’t even think it’s an actual word! But now I realize I have many more word addictions, where I use the same words over and over, hoping for a different result each time. But what really happens is they just end up getting slashed by my wonderful critique partners because I never needed those words to begin with. So now I take it one page at a time, accept the words that I cannot change, have the courage to change the words I can, and hope Jay and Eve have the wisdom to know the difference.

Here is a small list of the words I am seriously addicted to:

  • Suddenly
  • Um
  • Okay
  • Even
  • Just (...but I just love that word!)
I also have an issue beginning too many sentences with the ever dependable: Then/But/So. Which sounds like a new type of dance move, to me. Which reminds me! My friend Katie told me about a new dance craze called Zumba. I thought it sounded like a fruity, semi-alcoholic drink, but she assured me it was a fitness program. And I believe her because she can do this. And I…um…can’t.

Speaking of addictions and things I can’t do well, reading through Jay and Eve’s edits also showed me that I have a serious dysfunctional relationship with the italics function…and…the…ellipses function.

But I looooove them. Italics and ellipses are just so…what’s the word???


- Robin


Katie said...

Well, this was great fun to read 'cuz I NEVER use "wonky" or "suddenly or some of your other addictions. So if you don't mind, I'll just borrow some of yours :-)

Maybe we can all list our overused words and trade! Feel free to use any of the following:

good night!
holy mackeral!

Seriously - I wish I could insert wonky into something! Or maybe "wobbly." Ooo!!! or Zumba :-) yeah....zumba.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried Wordle yet? You paste your text into it, and it generates a word cloud that shows how frequently you use certain words -- apparently, other than character names, mine are "quite" "bit" "just" "suddenly" and "then". It's kind of cool though...and also sort of pretty.

Suzanne Young said...

Great post, Robin! And Katie! Dang, girl! That is dope! Speaking of....

Yeah, Dope, Okay, and seriously. Yeah, seriously. I overuse them all.

And don't even get me started on those darn elipses...

Christy Raedeke said...

Loved this post - I have the same reaction when I get edits back from my critique group. My addiction words are freakish, little, and okay. Plus I just can't get enough of that old workhorse the semicolin. I need to give it a rest and only use it for winking. ;)

Disco Mermaids said...

Yes, Robin. You do have addictions to things...but Also love parentheses (don't know why, always have) and semi-colons (not sure where that came from; I'm not even sure how to use them correctly!)

Trust me, folks, when The Happiness Project hits the shelves, no one will care about the overuse of dot things or "suddenly" or anything's THAT good; in fact, I can actually see it being used in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades as a teaching tool, in addition to being a kick-ass cool wonky (did I use that word correctly?) trade book!


Disco Mermaids said...

Oh! And, Katie...Florida was awesome! Just got home. In fact, my sister and I were signed up to go to her Zumba class last week!

Um, but we ended up drinking beers at the pool instead.


Disco Mermaids said...

Glad you made it home from Florida, Eve! Can't wait to hear about your trip.

I love that one of Christy's word addictions is "freakish." That's awesome!

And I like to use the word "wonky" in the context of explaining something that is weird, or off-balance, or peculiar, or not making sense. Like, for example, a politician might make a speech that is wonky. Veeery wonky. (Okay, I think I'll stop right there.)

LizR said...

Hahah, I've recently become attached to the word wonky. It hasn't made it into one of my manuscripts yet, though. And I also use a lot of ellipses. They were one of those things I went through and pared down on my last revision.

Great post!


The Bill Cochran said...

All I have to say is my favorite word is cattywumpus.