“Every writer has a writer's tic,” a famous author once told me.
As a writer, you challenge is to identify your own writer’s tic, and stomp it out of your manuscript.
In my own case, when I’m writing my first draft, I give free rein to my writing tics. But in the second draft, I hunt them down and stomp them out.
Here are a few of my own writer’s tics that I have to wipe out in the second draft:
- Worthless words.
My first draft is always studded with superfluous words such as very, apparently, obviously, suddenly, and surely. In the second draft, I do a global search for these serial offenders. Out they go!
- Ding-dong, the dash is dead. Also the ellipses.
I have a bad habit of “dramatizing” the rhythm of sentences with dashes and ellipses, which have to be removed.In fact, you could me the Queen of Dashes—or the Empress of Ellipses…
- Lazy-man’s time reference: “By the time.”By the time I get to Phoenix, I realize I need to delete all my instances of “By the time.”
How about you? What are your “writer's tics” that you have to stomp out before you submit your manuscript to the editor?