Monday, October 20, 2008


So...such a small word, such a large pain the ass!

When I first sold my story to Samhain, Heidi, my wonderful editor, sent me a "Pre-edit checklist." It had a list of things for me to go through my story and look for, prior to her beginning her edits, so (lol) that the editing process went quicker and was easier for both of us.

One of the things Heidi had in her checklist was a list of garbage words. These are...well, garbage words, that can often be deleted. They're filler words. Words that slow down a sentence and add nothing. One of the garbage words was "so."

Now, I'll be perfectly honest. I seriouly considered skipping over it and going on to the next garbage word on the list, "just." I mean...really..."so?" I didn't remember typing that word a single time. Obviously I didn't have an overabundance of them because I would have remembered typing it. Right?

At this point, if Heidi reads this, she's rolling on the floor laughing her ass off.

In my 30,000 word novella I had 80!!!

Yes, you read that right...80!

Now, in all fairness, the "find" feature does also recognize words with "so" anywhere in them. So (LOL), words like "someone" or "somebody" would be included in that total. But let me tell you...there weren't that many of those words that were added to the count.

My heroine was very much out of her comfort zone and uncomfortable for most of the story. I wanted to show her tentativeness when she spoke and, apparently, I did that by starting almost every sentence with her saying, "So,...." I never would have believed it if I hadn't done the "find" feature myself.

Now, in my current WIP, I'm oh so (lol) very aware of that word. See, even typing my blog, I realize every time I type those 2 tiny letters side by side.

So (lol, jeez!), what words are you overly fond of that need to be purged from your WIP? We can treat this like a support group! LOL

Make it a great day, everyone!
Peace and Love,


Colleen said...

Hysterical! I wonder how many times I use that word.


Alannah Lynne said...

You can do a "find" on your document and find out, but I warn you, you might not want to know! LOL

Honestly, I think everyone has a different "problem" word. Another author told me she has a tendency to overuse "but" and that she has to be vigilant about keeping too many of them out of her stories.

If you find out how many "so"s you have, let me know.