Literary Engineer
Because reading and writing are my only obsessions

Sloppy Writing 101.14

Just a quick note. I was lucky to be one of the 200 entrants in The Writer’s Voice competiton hosted by to Krista, Cupid, Monica, and Brenda. This is my entry for FROSTY. The four ladies above picked 10 entries each, that they want to work with to prepare queries and first pages for the agents viewing round.

I was stunned when Cupid invited me to be on her team. I still feel like I should go back to my comments section to see if it was real. (It appears so because the comment is still there.) She already gave me a suggestion too… to bump up my word count to about 55,000. I’ve got about 1800 down, 1200 to go.

One cool thing is that I already “kinda” know a few people on my team, either because I follow their blogs or because I’ve seen their query other places too and it seems like a fun group. The 2nd part of the competition is just starting and already I’m addicted to following the Twitter feed. Check out #thewritersvoice to see all the fun. Each team has their own hashtag too.

See here for Team Cupid.

 * * * * *

Now to Sloppy Writing.

Sometimes (try most of the time), we have unnecessary words in our writing—or at least I do. Another example of what I overuse is a little.

Here are three examples from FROSTY and remember, this is an early draft.

-I felt a little weird because Lana was serving us.
(Does it matter if she was weirded out a little or a lot? No.)

-Brooke clinked my glass and gave me a little eye roll.
(Is there that big of difference between a big eye roll and a little eye roll? Not much in this case.)

-Her makeup was nice and not over done—that surprised me a little.
(Again, does the level of surprise matter here? No.)

In my early version of FROSTY, I had 56 a littles.

Uffda. Yes, I’m half Norwegian, so I can say that. That 56 x 2 words = 112 possible unnecessary words. No, it’s not much if they were the only ones, but obviously, they were not, and those little buggers add up.

Now I am down to 7 a littles in FROSTY and I’m gonna keep them all. Much more reasonable. So check out your a littles to see if you really need them.

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10 Responses to “Sloppy Writing 101.14”

  1. Cassie Mae Says:

    First off… MAJOR CONGRATS!!!!! I’m so excited for you, I can’t wait to see what agents wanna snag you up!

    And I don’t use ‘little’ a lot (haha, sounds funny) but I do use ‘Kind-of’. :)

  2. Jolene Says:

    HAPPY!! And congrats!!

  3. Dana Says:

    Congratulations!

    Great tips about taking out unnecessary words. I don’t think I use “a little” very often, but there are definitely other words I overuse…

    On a side note, I’m part Norwegian as well. :)

  4. Andrea Teagan Says:

    This was a good post, thank you for giving examples. I wouldn’t have thought much about some of the additions that weren’t needed but I am going to try to look out for those now in my writing.

  5. Kelley Lynn Says:

    Oh those little things ;)

    I’m SO excited for you my dear! Yay you!

    And my word for my last MS was ‘just’. Oh man… haha

  6. Jenny S. Morris Says:

    Congrats!! I’m so happy for you. I’ve stopped following the feed for my own sanity but you guys should have a blast. My word. Just. LOL. I use that SO much. And of course that.

    Have fun and good luck Team Cupid.

  7. Emily R King Says:

    Excellent examples! This is why I love editing. I get to tighten my writing and improve my POV.

    CONGRATULATIONS on the Cupid contest!

  8. Lara Schiffbauer Says:

    Yay! Congratulations! How super exciting!

    I am looking for all those little lovelies (ha!). I’m on an adverb, maybe, just, perhaps (among others) word hunt! 84 pages to go before I start all over!

  9. Melodie Says:

    Congratulations! So excited for you – this contest sounds like so much fun. Almost makes me wish I was still querying. :)

  10. Amy Sonnichsen Says:

    That is so fun! The Writer’s Voice sounds like so much fun … and I didn’t realize there was a twitter hashtag. Thanks for letting me know. Best of luck and congratulations on making a team!! :)

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