Thursday, May 17, 2007

What Was That You Said About Readers?

I am right on track with my goal of submitting my work in progress on June 1st. I need to put a couple more chapters on the end and insert a few things here and there throughout, but beyond that, we're good to go.

As usual, I've had people read the book for me before I submit. It's an essential part of the process -- what one person will miss, another one will see. For example, I've been a published author since 2002. The book I'm currently finishing up is my 6th completed novel. However, it was not until I had Annette Lyon read for me on my most recent completion that I learned I have a tendency to overuse the word "was." Ordinarily one of those invisible words, when you've got fifteen of them on one page, that's a bit much. By working on eliminating my "was" usage, I also pulled myself out of a passive voice.

On my WIP, one of my readers was Danyelle Ferguson. She pointed out my overuse of the word "that." Again, a word we think is invisible, until we're swamped with them. As I went through and took out unneccessary "that"s, I also picked up on a tendency to use the expression "at that moment" too much.

No one had ever pointed out these two weaknesses to me before. Annette and Danyelle had never read for me before. They were the ones I needed to show me those problem areas.

So get people to read for you. Ask new people to join your reader crew from time to time so you get a broader range of viewpoints. It will only help you in the end.


Danyelle said...

Tristi -

Thanks for thinking my comments were useful enough to mention me in your post!

When I have my reader and reviewer hat on, I try to give my most honest opinions. I tend to worry I'll offend someone (especially an established author such as yourself) but go for it anyway. Thanks for letting me know I'm on the right track.

And for those you who are waiting on the edge of your seat for Tristi's new book to come out, let me just say that it's a great manuscript. Get ready to devour it and become lost in another time!

Connie Hall said...

I have a list of words that I search for when it comes time for editing. If I didn't I hate to think what the story would sound like. Usually when I'm reading for someone I pick up on repititious words, but never seem to find them in my own work.

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