Sunday, July 12, 2009

And, But & Revisions

Ah, some of my favorite words... Christy here.

Recently, my CP reviewed a piece of my work and she kindly pointed out my frequent useage of the words and & but. Since the words practically covered the pages of what I'd sent her, I decided to find and highlight the words through the entire manuscript. I came up with 1,107 words using and & but.

Hmm. That's a lot of words.

I hadn't realized how much I really loved those words, but obviously, they're attached to me better than my full head of hair. I can't even get through this blog post without using and & but.

But, that's what revisions are for. Thank the Lord we don't send our first drafts to editors and agents... No, we send them to our critique partners and make them wade through our over-usage of words like and, but, blah and blah.

Lately, I'm teaching myself to write "bad" just to get the scene out of my mind and on the page. I'm learning this better than before, thanks to the newest member of my family. Meet Alpha 3000.

Of course this is my handy Alpha Smart 3000, a gently used tool my hubby bargained and bid on Ebay so I'd hush about needing one of these things. It's so easy to use. You turn it on, chose the file you want, and start typing. Then, when you're ready to upload the info into your computer, you simply use the USB cable and ta-dah, it's in your Word document.

My first day using it, I wrote 800 words on my lunch hour. I was either excited about my new toy or high off the chocolate milkshake I was sipping. Never mind why, I wrote well that day and put a lot of good information down. I revised it later and had a couple of good scenes that came from that brief time of writing. The next time my work didn't come so easy. I wrote about 300 words and really struggled against the background noise in the cafeteria and with the scene I was trying to produce. That was definitely a "Gotta Write Bad" moment. But 300 words was better than none at all.

So remember, write bad if you have to. Write all the ands & buts you want. You'll revise them out later and make it better with each run-through you complete. Happy writing!


  1. BUT I like to use my favorite words, AND I can't help using them.


    Sorry, Christy, I couldn't resist.LOL

    I'll never forget the "hand" book. One of my cp's pointed out that someone was always touching hands or looking at hands or moving hands. That one required some fixing! LOL


  2. LOL Missy!

    My first draft of this post had every and & but highlighted bold, but Blogger ate that post and I had to re-write it. I didn't go to the trouble the second time around!

    I also have my characters raking their fingers through their hair a lot. I need to discover a new nervous habit.