I was editing a first draft for a friend the past few days, and was reminded of some pet peeves I have. I also just read a comment on another blog and auto-edited it in my head for the same reason.
One of my biggest pet peeves? Repeated words. Drives me wonky. And once I've noticed a particular word being used several times, at that point I'll see it EVERY SINGLE TIME it's used, even if it's pages and pages since the last time. It's especially bad when it's a pretty unusual word. If you describe your heroine as "effervescent", you can't keep saying that! Or, if you always add a particular adjective to anything: the brown couch. They sat on the brown couch. Walked around the brown couch. ARGH! I know it's brown, don't beat me over the head with it.
IMHO, it's particularly difficult not to repeat words in any sort of a clinch. I mean, if a H/H are kissing, only a few body parts are being used. And if you don't want to just say, "They kissed." (and who does?), it's hard to not use the words "lips" or "mouth" over and over.
The fact is, though, as a writer it's your job to use words skillfully. And, I like the challenge of it. I repeat words in my first drafts, too. You just need to get the scenes down. But, when I go back to fix the mess, they need to get edited out. And the challenge becomes: How can I rewrite the sentence, how can I turn the words around, or whatever to make this a great sentence that not only makes sense but doesn't beat the reader over the head.
Not always an easy task.
Thursday: POV pet peeve. (Are you bored yet?)
What about YOU? What are some writing pet peeves you have when you're reading something? Or, for the writers, what is a bad habit you know you have, but can't seem to break (at least in the first draft)?
It was sunny but cold yesterday. Not much snow melted (darn it), but there is rain forecast for tonight and Thursday. Provided it is really RAIN, the snow will melt significantly and usher in Mud Season. The joys of LOTS of water on still mostly frozen ground. Blech.
You Are Mayonnaise
You tend to be a very quiet, introverted person.
You're happy to sit back and let stronger personalities shine.
You value loyalty and harmony. You try to bring people together.
Your taste in food leans toward simple comfort foods.
You love holiday meals as well as old school favorites like mac and cheese.
You get along with mustard and ketchup personalities. You have an unlikely alliance with hot sauce personalities.
The first part? Not at all... but the second is pretty close!