Monday, August 16, 2004

"It's amazing how much better everything looks just from this one small edit."

Reading your blog has not only made queries considerably less intimidating for me (although not completely), it has provided me with some much needed  perspective in this delicate stage of my book's development.

I am aware that I am a talented writer (my mom constantly tells me so),  but I am also aware that I have acquired some nasty habits over the years that I still have great difficulty identifying while in creative mode.  Identifying these bad habits while I'm writing is an important step in ridding myself of them and developing healthier ones.

In the past two days I've read over 200 queries posted on QS (yeeah, I  don't sleep much) and in one, or possibly several, of them you advise the  writer to search for certain words in their text and remove them where  they are not absolutely needed. Following that advice I removed about 20  unnecessary instances of the word 'simply' from my first chapter; only one  was deemed actually useful and survived the purge. I repeated the process  with every word I know I overuse but often miss. The experience made me  want to punch myself so badly I am likely to never overuse these words  again. It's amazing how much better everything looks just from this one  small edit.

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