Nuking the manuscript…

I wrapped up round 1776 of revisions on my novel yesterday. Okay, I’m exaggerating. I don’t think the number of revisions is anywhere near that high, but when you’ve read, re-read, edited, trimmed, added, etc., so many times, it’s just one big blur. I addressed some of the concerns my 3 betas spotted. I reviewed notes received over a 2+ year period from my writers group. My last major hurdle before turning this over for editing is the ‘nuke’. (And I apologize – I can’t find the blogger who used this term!)

My writers group has offered so many words of wisdom – hold the moment, use all senses, watch the repetitive words and phrases. Damn the cliches! And I’ve learned so much from other authors, including JW Manus and Janice Hardy. I wish I’d found their blogs a year ago!

So I’m nuking away – looking for those commonly used words and dialogue tags that need to go, removing extra spaces and tabs and other offending critters that Word adds. Don’t you love my Wordle? It’s based on a list my author  friend Jen is using to nuke her own manuscripts; I added a few words of my own. I didn’t think Wordle could handle my 93,000 word manuscript but, whoa, I bet that would be enlightening. I may try it with 1 chapter.

Nuking is painfully slow, especially for those of us still honing our craft. Should I lower my head in shame and admit there were far too many instances of the word “look” (or a variation thereof) in Family Peace? Nah. Now you’ll be on the lookout for them, won’t you? *sigh*

Will I be reporting that I’ve shipped the manuscript to to my editors (my writers group) by this time next week? I hope so. They’ll get one last sweep of story, plot, characters, and writing. I will be shocked if they don’t find a few other things needing work.

And while they do their redlining, I can work on my Crusaders novella!! The first draft of part 1 is nearly complete and sitting at 15,000 words

Good news! I have a cover design for the book now. I’m so excited, thrilled with the work done by Pro Book Covers. I’ll do a cover reveal when I get a bit closer to actual publication.

Have you ever done a “find” on your manuscript? What word or words have you tended to over-use?

  1. Marie Loughin Avatar

    I like your Wordle. Do you really use the word “itch” that much??

    1. Char Avatar

      Thanks! No, “itch” is one of Jen’s words. I didn’t edit her list before I added a few of my offenders.

  2. Jadey Avatar

    Glad to hear your novel is progressing at a rate.
    I must admit, I’ve never done a ‘find’ on any of my fanfics. I’m not aware that I overuse any particular words, but then it’s hard to judge when you’re that close to the thing.
    Good luck with the rest of your Crusaders novella.

    1. Char Avatar

      You may not have developed any bad habits, lucky you! A few words are just glaringly obvious to me in Family Peace. And doing “find” will cut them down a good bit. What’s even better is that in future writing I won’t even use them because I’ll know better. Of course, I’ll still need to go through pt. 1 of the Crusaders stories using the technique. But pt. 2 – when I get there – won’t need nearly so much fine tuning. 🙂

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