Tip of the Day: To find out how many times you use a word in your manuscript, do a Find/Replace for the same word and see how many changes are made. Compare that number to the number of pages in your document. Is your word usage to heavy in your book?
There are some phrases I like, but I use them too much. There are other words I like, but I managed to cut down on their usage by maintaining my conscious awareness of them. "Just," "back," and "really" are examples of some of these overused words in my past, but now I have a new vice.
Can you tell what it is?
And not just any "but," but the but that follows a comma. In my 208 page manuscript, I found 155 instances of this phrase! ACK!
The scary thing is how long it took me to discover this crutch. This is the novel that captured the interest of my current agent. I revised it twice with her, and am now revising it again for an editor. And until now, on page 138 of the 208 page ms, I didn't realize how many times I used it. Holy macaroni! I can't believe this book has made it this far.
On the plus side, it shows that voice, character, and plot can take a book far. On the minus side, omg, how come no one told me I had toilet paper sticking out of the back of my pants for so long?
I have returned to page 23 of my ms and am diligently searching out and destroying as many ", but" phrases as humanly possible. The crutch must go!
What are your latest, newly discovered crutches?
Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing