Erin Lausten

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Wonderful Wizard of Was

Posted by erinlausten on January 5, 2011

Photo by marie-ll

Words written: 84,090 Currently Reading: Everything Guide to Writing a Romance Novel

I screwed up. Seriously. Like Orpheus in Hades, I looked back. (palm to forehead)

Never, never look back until you are ready to deal with what you see. I’ve been doing a little brushing up, looking for those things that will make my writing better. Nothing too complicated; don’t want grammar and sentence structure to get in the way of a good yarn. Once the story is down then I can go back and fix what is dreadfully wrong. This method has worked really well. The pace through the manuscript kept steady, my creative mind stayed focused, the story evolved and settled into a decent shape.

However, I am not done. I am almost done. But no, I had to go and take a peak. Just to see what I had in store for the next month or so. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Panic attack ensued. Sleep took a hike and worry sunk its teeth in me like a rabid Chihuahua. (In other words, nothing too bad, but once it starts to fester… bad news).

What did I see that had me in such a fit? After all, I don’t usually have these kinds of fits. I have perfected the blind confidence that allows me to fool my insecurities enough for the job to get done. But here’s what I did. I–stupidly–did a simple Control Find in my manuscript for the word WAS.

Dude.

It’s ugly. Really ugly. Like put a paper bag over its face and mine just in case one falls off kind of ugly. There are so many WAS’s I could populate a small town. Ok, maybe not a small town. We’re talking on the verge of applying for city status kind of numbers.

Sigh.

It’s going to take a wizard to fix that mess. As I believe Harry Potter and his cronies are too busy living the high life I will have to do. But not until I am done. So, I am off to sweep my misgivings under the rug and finish this first draft. Then take a breather long enough to like my writing again. Ten minutes should be enough? Right?

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11 Responses to “Wonderful Wizard of Was”

  1. Eve said

    I was half way through- when I did the WAS check and like you- the chihauhua
    attacked my sensibilities and slowed me down like that old bottle of molasses thats been sitting in your pantry for two or three years. Crusty, dripping with black agony and impossible to open, until you sweat it out or run it under hot water, waiting for a miracle to help you along. In hindsight, I’m glad I did it. You’ll be glad too.

  2. Becky said

    Don’t fret! It took me ten months to FINISH my first ms. Why? Because I edited the whole time. In fact, I wouldn’t write a sentence until I read the three previous chapters. The good news: My WIP was pretty clean before it went to betas. Fewer major rewrites later.

    It will all work out. Promise.

  3. Edrienne B said

    And because I”m your friend I will refrain from what I really really want to say. The urge to be totally evil is upon me!
    Your word count is fairly high for being “almost” done. I’ve heard that one before by the way. Don’t worry about the stuff you may end up culling out. Remember that there are other things that will be added in other sections.
    Ok I can’t help myself. THE….
    *EG*

  4. Shelly said

    We all do it. I’m also known as the suckiest self-editor in the world. It’ll be better tomorrow. Promise.

  5. If this is the worst thing you ever have to deal with, consider yourself blessed. Editing’s a real PITA.

  6. You are a brave brave woman! So – I’m being snarky now – remember that you also have a “Find & Replace” option so you could replace that one evil word with something far more interesting, like “frippered” or “blosted”. 😉

  7. Alley said

    was is a bugger, be sure to check for ‘were” “weren’t” and “wasn’t” LOL Just helping! And then there’s “and”, don’t want to overdo those, and other words that I have problems with: just, only, it, there, etc.

    • LOL Alley! I love it! How nutty. And then you read books you absolutely love and notice all the “was” “were’s” “ings” and “ly’s and wonder, just who made these rules and where is this stupid line everyone says you should walk?

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