Thursday, July 15, 2004

One of the problems every writer faces is the rut of well-used phrases. The first book is the easiest...every turn of phrase is brand new...nothing hackneyed or old allowed. As a writer, you have something new to offer the world and life is good.

But by the fifth book, I'm finding I run the risk of falling into "habit words." Words or phrases I've used in past books that worked really, really well...and I want to use them again. Only now they're NOT new...and certainly not fresh.

For my current work, DIAMONDS IN THE SNOW, the characters just had sex in the shower. Now let's face it...that setting has been used before...about a million times. And I had a shower scene in SECRET SUBMISSION. Believe me, I had no intention of writing a shower scene in this current book, but the two characters had other opinions/desires. In other words, they got randy and took matters into their own hands!

What they leave me with is hard work. Now that the scene is written, it is up to me, not the characters, to go back and find a way to make it fresh and new, hot and sexy. This first draft through, I will admit, I used my old "habit words" far too often. But I know they are there and in succeeding drafts will rework the phrasing so the reader is turned on by what the characters are doing. The LAST thing I want is for a reader to say, "She wrote this exact same scene in her other book...can't she think of anything new????"

YES! I can! It takes work and much thought, but yes...this scene will sparkle and titillate along with the best of them by the time I'm done. I will climb out of the rut (there's a pun here, someplace), and readers will end up loving this scene above all!

Now...where did I put the thesaurus....?


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