Maggie Robinson

Jun 21
Fresh Out

School’s out for summer. Aren’t you hearing Alice Cooper right now?

Well we got no class
And we got no principles (principals)
And we got no innocence
We can’t even think of a word that rhymes

There seems to be an issue with the word principle in the lyrics. I guess it can go either way. I hope in general I have class and principles (I know I have my very own principal.*g*). My innocence is definitely gone, and while I don’t want to be a poet, there are plenty of times when I search for the right word. I keep minimized for handy reference when I write. I find I blank sometimes when I’m talking, too—that name or word just eludes me. I prefer to think my brain is simply too busy, not that I’ve got senile dementia. πŸ™‚
Keeping things young and fresh is important in writing. I make an effort not to repeat certain things from chapter to chapter and book to book. I discovered when editing Waking Beauty, the heroine Penny blushed so much she must have owned Covergirl stock. I’m now conscious of the whole blushing scenario and try to flush it out every time I’m tempted. For some reason I’m stuck on the phrase ‘velvet agony’ and must embed it in at least one bedroom scene. Stop your snickering now.

Do you have a habit of repeating yourself? Do you have deja vu when you read your favorite authors? Do you marvel that Nora Roberts can write a million books and come up with a million ideas? What are you doing this summer?

Note the illustration provides both blush and velvet. Agony not included.

11 comments to “Fresh Out”

  1. skirbo
     · June 21st, 2008 at 8:11 pm · Link

    I find myself nodding in agreement over just about everything here. The word usage problem that gets me the most though is reins/reigns. Drives me absolutely bonkers and if it happens twice in the same book, I just put the thing down.


  2. Marnee Jo
     · June 21st, 2008 at 9:51 pm · Link

    When I write, I feel like I describe how they say words. Ie, the words felt heavy on her lips. Or something like that. His voice was filled with whatever it’s filled with that time I’m describing. Custard, maybe? Perhaps jelly filled?

    MMMMmmm…. Custard….

  3. J.K. Coi
     · June 21st, 2008 at 11:50 pm · Link

    I have a habit on overdoing the dialogue tags that I really have to watch. But words I love and shouldn’t are: “seems/seemingly” and “wondered”. It seems that my characters wonder too much about every damn thing.

  4. Gillian Layne
     · June 22nd, 2008 at 9:33 am · Link

    Every time I snatch a bit of late night or early morning time to write, I repeat a word. I’ve learned not to stress too much over it, just learned I have to edit a lot.

  5. Elyssa Papa
     · June 22nd, 2008 at 8:18 pm · Link

    I overdo things a lot—I pick up a new bad habit in writing whether it be slightlys (although that’s been eliminated), shoulders, and and then.

  6. Maggie Robinson
     · June 23rd, 2008 at 9:04 am · Link

    Skirbo, I sometimes wonder where the editors are, or if they’ve gone to a long liquid lunch. πŸ™‚

    Marnee, hilarious. Custard is way better than collagen!

    Kris, I know.I keep sticking dialog tags in and then yanking them out. It’s so hard to hit a balance.

    Gillian, I usually write early in the morning, simply because by nighttime I’m a blithering idiot. Of course, there are some who will say the blithering idiocy lasts all day. But I’m much more apt to think ‘fresh’ in the morning.

    Ely, I’m waiting for my bottle of White Shoulders, LOL. Just kidding—I can’t remember what it smells like anyhow.

  7. MistyJo
     · June 23rd, 2008 at 9:47 am · Link

    I haven’t proofread for over kill yet, but I know it’s there in my writing. However, I’ve noticed over usage of words in my speech. When I was younger, I picked up a bad habit from Maw, who ends her sentences a lot with, “You know?” Taking lots of English classes helped me with that one. Also, that whole valley girl time drove me nuts with “like.” I had classmates who needed to be strangled.

  8. terrio
     · June 23rd, 2008 at 9:57 am · Link

    Like, what do you mean, Misty? LOL!

    The word “just” is my nemesis. And passive voice. A person who did a crit on my work pointed it out (not that I wasn’t aware of it) and asked if anyone really talks that way. I thought about it and realized *I* talk that way.

    So now I know I’m not only a moron in writing, I’m a moron in speaking. Just great.

  9. MistyJo
     · June 23rd, 2008 at 11:00 am · Link

    LOL! Terri, I’m a moron in speaking and writing, too. “Just” is just “the word.” LOL!

  10. BernardL
     · June 23rd, 2008 at 4:36 pm · Link

    When I’m not careful, I can end up with so many repetitions of the word ‘back’, you’d think I was writing a novel on time travel.

  11. Kelly Krysten
     · June 24th, 2008 at 4:56 pm · Link

    I do have to watch it, when I’m writing, to not repeat myself. It’s always disheartening to look back and see that I’ve used something like the dialogue tag ‘matter-of-factly’ a ton of times.
    And, yes, I do catch it when my favorite authors repeat themselves a lot. I suppose at every stage of writing it’s something to watch out for.