You pleaded. You begged. You sent me your firstborn child.
I promised. I swore. I vowed I would do it.
And . . . I have done it at last! What have I done, you ask? I put the Strong vs Weak Word posts in one easy-to-find place on my blog. No longer do you need to slog through some 180+ posts to find my words of wisdom. Er . . . my words of editing advice. Ahem . . . I mean my nagging about using strong words when possible.
If I may direct your attention to the left, you will gaze upon a link in the sidebar with the clever title, “Strong vs Weak Words.” Boy, do I know how to turn a phrase or what? Click on that puppy and you will have hours of pleasure reading ahead of you.
My motivation for getting to this project at long last was the blog posts from folks as they wrap up their NaNoWriMo challenge. They are now staring into the abyss of editing those 50,000 words. Have mercy on their souls.
For those of you who weren’t in on this bumpy ride of the Strong vs Weak Word series since its inception, it was born out of my own editing pain. I spent the better part of the summer polishing my manuscript. Whenever I ran across a weak, or oft-repeated word, I poked at it. If the word didn’t dance on the page, I poked it some more to see if I could fix the flat language. And when I could fix it, I shared my brilliant discovery with you, my unwitting readers.
Well, I am overstating my wisdom, but the response from you let me know that many of us share the same writerly tics, crutches, and the tendency to fallback on certain words. I lovingly call those words “cheeky little buggers.” They sneak in our writing unnoticed and do nothing to punch up the story.
An early discovery of a “cheeky little bugger” was the word “went.” My character went here and went there. She never strode, marched, tiptoed, or pirouetted anywhere. For example, change the words “I went to the principal’s office” to “I slunk to the principal’s office” and you have a better visual.
I plan to make the series into a made-for-TV-movie. Steven Spielberg wants to direct it. Until I can work out my 7-figure royalty payment with Stevie-boy, I’ll settle on working the Strong vs Weak Word series into a slim tome in the coming months, publish it, and then sit on my laurels. Fame and fortune will soon come my way. And yes, I do sign autographs.
Can I send back your firstborn children now? They are eating me out of house and home. And GAWD, the laundry is piling up.