Yes, it would be nice if I were eating Mac N Cheese, but no. I am fixing GESTAPO. I imagine all of you are as tired of hearing about this book as I am of revising it. But it has some craft "problems" as it were. It's funny when you've done some editing, when you've read books for critique partners, and when you've made your way through a giant slush pile, you start to realize what your bad habits are.
I'm not talking about the obvious ones like overuse of "just" and "that." I'm talking about things like when you're writing in first person and get in another character's head. I evidently do this quite a bit. Sadly, this is usually signaled by an inappropriate use of an adverb.
So if you've seen my website or you've been following me for awhile, you have a general idea about what GESTAPO is about. And perhaps you even know that I changed the whole thing from 3rd person to 1st person. Well, in doing all this revision, I've managed to forget that my MC doesn't know exactly what everyone is thinking.
For example, "Andrew swallowed uncomfortably."
This seems fairly innocuous until you start to ask yourself, "Can our MC see him swallow? And how does she know he's uncomfortable?"
Ack. Double ack. So I'm trying to fix those. I'm also guilty of failing to contract enough.
This morning, I used the FIND button to discover every "am" in my manuscript and see if I needed to change it to an "I'm" instead of "I am." I love the FIND button sometimes, but today, not only did it FIND all the "I am" cases, but also, "family" "game" and "team"---super fun weeding through that!
So what about you, my writing duckies? What are the bad habits you need to use the FIND button for?