Monday, December 22, 2014

Okay, I looked!

No excuses except: I have the time, so I peeked.

I know I said I wasn't going to look at REVOLUTION until next week, but I find myself this morning with time on my hands. I don't want to start a new story until I've put this one to bed, my Christmas presents are all wrapped, the house is clean...what else is there to do but edit?

First step was to go through all the comments I'd made myself and deal with them. This morning I spent looking up small details I wanted to include but needed historical references. In other words, I spent about a half an hour looking up things like, "What did young women read for pleasure in 1777 New York?" and "What is a good dock for a smuggler to use?" Fun stuff!

I had already created my Wordle, but I have other habit words I know I'm overly fond of using. So my next step today was to go through and do a quick word count of each one so I know if I actually succeed in getting rid of any instances of these words.* The counts are somewhat alarming:

was - 729 instances (includes "wasn't" but not "Washington" - which would make it 10x worse!)
back - 183
just - 191
hand - 141 (my char. are always using those darn appendages!)
one - 353
know - 149
man - 259
way - 110
thought - 151
see - 133

LOTS of editing needed here. Nothing like seeing the words in a visual format to alert you to your laziness!

I haven't highlighted the words in my mss yet. I'll do that later, after I've done a read-through for continuity and plot holes.Might as well fix those first, then go back - these word counts could get a lot worse before they get better. :(

But I like having a baseline. I'm all about the data, so, for me, this is part of the picture of the story in it's first iteration. Painters use brushes, knives, paints to create art, For me, comments, Wordles, word counts, even the story outline are all tools I use to work on my art (the manuscript).

Not going to do too much more. I'm sure there's something around the house that needs cleaning...

Play safe!

* If you want a quick tutorial on how to use Microsoft Word's feature that lets you do this, click here - the directions are in the second part of the post.

No comments: