Monday, March 28, 2011

Tips and Thanks!

Thank you to all who stopped by for the Nature of Magic Blogfest.  If you missed it, click on the link to the right and check out all the entries.

Welcome to all of my new followers and welcome back to my regular readers!

Today I'm sharing with you three things I've learned from my critique partners that I am trying to share with others I critique for.  Hopefully you will find them helpful in your writing as well.  So, in no particular order:

1) Be careful of over using words.  I used to use THAT a lot.  Now I've replaced it with THEN.  Another favorite I've seen in writing is AND. If you can say the sentence without the word, leave it out.  In the case of THEN, find another word (Thanks Trisha!!!)

2) Use common words.  While I am a big fan of building vocabulary, I strongly believe a reader will lose interest if they are having to run to the dictionary every page (or paragraph!).  Nothing is wrong with common words

3) Don't be repetitious with words.  Do all your paragraphs start with the same word?  Do all your sentences in the paragraph begin with s/he?   Did you use the same descriptive word three times in that paragraph when you could have substituted something else?  These are things I check for after I get my thoughts down.  I often have drafts where each of these things happen abundantly.  When I revise, I try to catch them and change out words-- sometimes I miss it, though-- thank God for Beta readers!!!

I hope these help you as you read through your work or critique others.  What do you look for? Any tips you have to share?


  1. Great advice, I definitely use words (like really) too much and have to back through and change or delete.

  2. Awesome tips!

    As far as repetitions go, I found this really awesome 'Phrase Frequency Counter' over at the 'WriteWords website. You just copy/past your text, and it'll count up all of the word combinations you use. It takes the word search thing up a notch.

    Here's the link if you or your readers want to check it out:

  3. These are awesome tips. Sorry I haven't been around. Took a vacation and imagine that my hubs would book us in a resort that wants you to pay for internet. I don't think he wanted me to do any work. Blah!


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