Editing is always better if we can identify our own tendencies and problems in our writing. I do wonder what others have identified in their writing because usually it's probably something I do too, only I'm not aware of it yet.
I'll start - my three worst offenses in writing:
1) One of my worst habits in writing, I think, is repetitiveness of both concepts and words:
- I tend to repeat the same idea like: you have to die, i don't want to die, but you have to, but i really don't want to. Okay, okay, we got the message the first five times I'd written it.
- I also tend to repeat adjectives and synonyms - she was a courageous woman, strong, powerful and tough. The problem here is that I tend to fall in love with sentences like that: Oh, but Melly, you practically used all the words in the thesaurus to describe X's 'strong' attributes; you're so clever. (Heck, even the title of this post is the same).
3) Finally, my tendency to overuse adverbs. By definition almost, adverbs are unnecessary. What are adverbs if not parts of speech that modify verbs? And what are verbs if not actions already? So why modify them? Naturally, it is all case dependent, but most times adverbs are a form of repetition. For example, X quietly tiptoed around the house, should be X tiptoed around the house. Tiptoeing is already quiet!
Yes, yes, adverbs also modify adjectives and other adverbs, but I'm talking here about my tendencies of modifying verbs.
What I'm glad is that at this point I know my weaknesses and usually manage to take them out during the writing process, yet they still manage to sneak in. However, since I'm aware of them, the editing process becomes somewhat easier.
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Categories: writing, process, editing