At the beginning of the month (maybe earlier) I began a “tighten up” round of revisions on HEIR OF ISIS. Being that it was my 6/7th? round of revisions, I knew I didn’t have serious ripping of plot stuff to do. However I also knew that I had a tendancy to use some words as a crutch… in order words I was overusing a ton of words. I had saw this amazing post (or maybe it was a tweet) a while back about using wordle to help with that. And the above image is the end result.
So first there are the names. You might not think that’s all bad, but maybe it was a sign that I was using the character’s names too often. In normal speech I don’t always call out my friends’ names. In fact the only (or one of) person I know who does that regularly is my mom, whenever she needs me.
Aside from the names there’s the real problem, the crutch words: looked, just, etc…
For the justs that was easy enough. I did a find and replace and deleted them all from my MS. That was about 200+ words alone. Then I went back through and reread the MS, adding back in the just where I thought it really needed it (only a handful of times).
As for “looked”, well that was a sign I was telling and not showing. My main character doesn’t have to “look” at everything. It’s in first person. Now that edit took much longer but it was totally worth it.
Then there were other things. I went through and highlighted all the backs and ones and times and eyes. Sight is a “big theme” of my book yet maybe I was overdoing it. As for “back” and “time” and “one”, I went through just to see why I was using those words so much.
I’m very happy with my results, and I definitely recommend you giving Wordle a chance. At the very least it’s cool to play aorund with the settings of the word cloud and the pretty colors 😉
Here’s the word cloud of this post (minus common words like “a” and “the”…just like I did for my MS):
See, look…I just love using “just” (hehe)
What are some favorite revision tips of yours?