Wednesday, August 2, 2017

August IWSG: Those annoying little things called words



Time to take a short break from marketing to do this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group post. 

IWSG July Question: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

Oh, wouldn't it be nice if that was the same thing for all three? That would be too easy though, and we wouldn't want that. Wait, I'd love a little easy right now. Too bad. Onward!

Reading: Repeated information drives me nuts. This happens most often with a character's way of speaking (they seem to whisper every line of dialogue), a habit they have (frowns when responding to everything), or with a detail of physical description. Perhaps some readers have short memories and need to be reminded that a character has curly hair every three pages. Though, really, I think we can all retain that information. I don't mind an occasional reference to reinforce a description but spread them out for the love of all that's curly. 

Writing: I get annoyed when the words in my head don't flow neatly into the page. Don't we all? Ok, seriously, I'd have to say my biggest pet peeve is having to find the delicate line between the amount of description I prefer and what other people feel they need. Specifically when I do add description (trying to be a good little detail providing writer regarding setting and characters) and I get editorial comments like, "Why do we need this?" Those cartoons of writers pounding their heads to bloody pulps on desks are quite accurate. 

Editing: Repetition of phrasing, paragraph length, and words that start paragraphs. I find all of those things horribly distracting from the story itself. All sentences shouldn't have the same structure. All paragraphs shouldn't start with "I" or "He" and sometimes paragraphs should have more or less than three lines. My eyes like variance. 


Do you have any pet peeves you'd like to share?

While you're here, could you take a few minutes to vote for the cover of The Last God in this July Book Cover of the Month competition? You do need to vote all the way through the brackets. There are a lot of great book covers to vote for!



21 comments:

  1. I'm co-hosting this month and wanted to pop by and say hi. I'm with you on liking variation in the structure of sentences and paragraphs. If things are too uniform it almost feels like a computer did the writing instead of a human. Cheers - Ellen

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  2. I've been trying to avoid repeating information in my story, unless I feel it is necessary when starting a new chapter.

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    1. Sounds like you're on the right track. :)

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  3. The repeated phrases are even more glaring when listening to an audio book. Recently, a book I listened to had epic amounts of gazing. I actually wrote one line down because I couldn't believe it: "My gaze connected with the time." AKA I looked at the clock. What gives?!

    Here is my IWSG post for August: Top First Pages Pet Peeves AND How to Fix Them!

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    1. A gaze connected with an object? That's sounds really awkward. A person works better.

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  4. I agree with all of your points. Descriptions are hard for me. I'm still trying to find that balance.

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  5. The repeated phrasing in published books really annoys me to. An editor should weed that out, right? I'm working with a freelance editor on a project and she is DEFINITELY weeding out my repeated phrases.

    Here is my IWSG post for August: Top First Pages Pet Peeves AND How to Fix Them!

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  6. Hi, Darla. Glad to see you here on IWSG. Great group. I'm with you about repeated descriptions. I just finished a book that did that. Geesh. My brain can be a sieve, but I do retain some things...like the heroine's curly hair. :)

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    1. I've been here for well over a year, but I only recently joined the FB group. :)

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  7. Hi Jean - yes the words have to flow ... and repetition doesn't always help does it - and spelling ... yugh - if it's wrong - take care and cheers Hilary

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    1. There will almost always be a typo, but yes, spelling is important.

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  8. Cliff hangers. I mean, I don't mind them, but there MUST be plot/character resolution--even if it's the first book in a series.

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    1. Oh man, yes! Cliffhangers are right up there for me too.

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  9. Yeah finding the right amount of description bugs me, too. I prefer light, dialogue driven stories without too discussion about the furniture and the heft of everyone's busoms. Maybe I should just read and write plays. But I guess some people like the description to make their books bigger.

    Another pet peeve: long books.

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  10. Published novels that are polished and entertaining for about three or four chapters and then it's like the author paid little attention to the rest of it. Boo!

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  11. Great pet peeves....I'll keep an eye out for repeated character information. I know I've been guilty from time to time. ;)

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  12. My pet peeve while reading is finding tons of descriptions and backstory from an earlier book in the series. Annoys me no end.

    Damyanti

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    1. I agree. I once read a book u in a series that was at least a quarter direct copied material from the previous book. That led to a lot of skimming.

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