Word Abuse

Hello! My name is Madison Granger, and I’m a word abuser.

I learned a valuable lesson this past week. I had a project to be completed in a very short time frame. I was able to complete the work in the allotted time with just enough of a window to deal with edits. It was then I was faced with the brutal truth. I have a problem. I feel like 75% of the edits were slashes through the word ‘that’. Apparently, no, obviously, I overuse that word.  See, I did it again! *hangs head* (I’m leaving it there for the chuckle, ok?)

If my editor didn’t have to deal with slashing through the particular word, her job would have been much easier. And I wouldn’t have panicked at the marks on the manuscript when it was delivered to me. In the long run, it worked out. I learned a lesson, my story was stronger for the lesson, and I think my tale turned out pretty good. At least, I’m pleased with it. I’ll wait for the reader’s feedback when it’s released.

After I submitted the project and was able to turn back to revisions on His Eternal Promise, I decided to hit the search for that … did it again! … abused word, ‘that’. I sat back in my chair dumbfounded… 824 times! Let me tell you, it’s not a good feeling. I started the tedious task of scrolling, deleting, and changing. It took me a chunk of time to go through the entire manuscript to fix it all.

I’m not the only one with this problem. I’m sure a lot of authors share this dilemma with one word or another. In Phoenix Rising, I used the word ‘bit’ about 50 zillion times. One of my beta readers called me on it (thank you!) and I fixed it. I am now compiling a list of words I tend to overuse. When I think I’m done, I hit search to see how many times I used the word. Deleting and changing starts then. Thank the Higher Powers for the person who compiled the first Thesaurus. I have many versions, and use them all. I blame a lot of my word abuse on the fact I’m Southern and Cajun. Our speech is laid back and a tad on the lazy side. I tend to write like I talk. I’m learning to correct this in my writing.

Now you know how I spend my time these days. I leave you with a thought. Appreciate the efforts of both author and editor, it took both of them to make your book an enjoyable experience.

Till next week,

~ Madison




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