Round Robin Blog Fest May 2020

We have a new logo!! Thanks to Connie Vines for her hard work.

Wow, it's been a long couple of months BUT at least I had more time to be part of this blog tour than if I'd been busy at my work office full time instead of working from home! One great thing about all the changes and upheavals we've all faced, it that the arts and entertainment sector is getting a real boost as far as keeping us all occupied. I've even been able to publish a new book in the midst of things. Release date is June 1st for Drop Dead Cowboy!

Today's question to the authors is:  All books go through multiple edits. What have you learned are your problems, and what irks you about editing?

I've learned I am passive, repetitive, and wordy. LOL!

Okay, that was the short answer. In truth, like all writers I've come a long way from using mistakes like having hands reaching for objects instead of the character reaching for things. My characters don't roll their eyes in every third paragraph anymore. I've also cut back on my usage of "that" and about a zillion "-ly" words. Yup, those were bad habits. So was my severe overuse of exclamation marks!!!

That's not to say I never use any of those things. When I'm writing in the heat of the moment, all bets are off. Then I put the book aside for a while and when I dig into edits....

Lots of red ink!!

Sometimes those chicken scratches help to clean up the manuscript and tighten up the story.

Sometimes I write copious new sentences only to cross them all out later.

Always editing!

One of the things that helped to shape my writing style, is reading Robert B. Parker. He uses concise language, as well as leaving most of the finicky details to the reader's imagination while weaving a great story.

Repetition is another nemesis. I tend to repeat phrases or words several times on the same page. Sometimes even in the same paragraph. While writing the draft, I tend to write first and think about the grammar later, trying not to edit as I go. Word program usually catches spelling typos, but not always, especially if they're real words or the right word but wrong spelling.

Making sure names and titles are consistent through the entire manuscript is another thing that can cause issues. I've been editing my novel and discovered at one point Jack was called Jake. Hm, forgot to change that a couple times. That's when the Replace features come in handy. I did kick myself though considering this was a second edit. Oh well!

One of the best memories of when I first started writing was of my editor at the time who used to nag me about my use of exclamation marks. Where a single exclamation mark used sparingly in a novel has much more impact and looks far more professional, my first novel was riddled with them. To the point my editor would send me emails that looked like this:

Please!! Stop using so many exclamation marks!!!!! I am sending this back!! Fix it!! I don't want to see another exclamation mark in this or any other copy!!!

I got the hint. I can't even write an email without hearing her voice in the back of my head.

I can't wait to see what editing issues our other authors have dealt with!

And now off to see what my fellow bloggers have to say about humor in their writing...


  1. Oh Diane, I have to laugh over the exclamation mark issue. As a distance learning short story tutor, I devoted a lot of time to impressing on would-be writers how less is so often more - impactful, tantalising, intereseting... I love the new logo, too. anne

  2. We all have those repetitious favorites. It just shows we all have different styles and need to tame some usages. Enjoyed your post!!!!

  3. Exclamation marks have never been my nemisis, but words like Well, Really, So, etc at the start of a sentence are. Thank heaven for search and destroy (my term for find and replace.

  4. I enjoyed your post, Diane.
    And congrats on your new book coming out June 1st.

  5. I wonder if one can go too far the other way. My writing is tight, with every word needing to beg for its life. I've just had a very helpful beta read of one of my novels, and was told I skipped over scenes too fast, focusing on action. The critic, who happens to be my son, told me I needed to linger on more details.
    What do you think?

  6. Diane, I chuckled over your exclamation mark reference. I thought of "Good Old, Charley Brown", from the Peanuts cartoons and his love of ? question marks when he was writing. Your photos are a helpful learning tool.

  7. Repetition, exclamation marks, roving eyes, as an editor I see these all the time. However, (another crutch word!) I now catch it in my own writing, too so I guess I'm learning.


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