Sick smiles and hollow laughter

Had to laugh at the idea of the process coming easy to Laurie King on Meg Cabot’s blog (Hi Meg!) Hollow laughter, you understand? Sickly and trailing off into a deep sigh.

Because you know something you never, ever want to do with a computer? Well, yes, that too, but with a piece of your own writing on a computer? You don’t want to do a word search to see how many times you have your characters smile. Or laugh. Or turn around. You don’t want to know how many times you refer to the silence in a room (silence/silent/quiet/still etc) because you might just lay your forehead down on the desk and begin to weep in hopeless despair. You don’t want to look up the word weep, although full points if it only occurs twice in an entire manuscript. Ditto despair.

I’d write more on this fascinating topic, but I have to go draw lines through words on pieces of paper with my brown pencil.

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  1. Susan Breen on August 31, 2007 at 10:21 am

    I’ve enjoyed reading your mutterings. I had something similar happen when my editor was going through my book. It turns out my characters run their fingers through their hair, constantly. As I was reading my editor’s notes, I realized that I was running my fingers through my hair. So I had to come up with a bunch of new nervous tics. Fortunately, I’m nervous enough that that wasn’t a problem.

  2. admin on August 31, 2007 at 10:40 am

    Gee, thanks. (Laurie now compulsively does searches on the words run, fingers, and hair…)

  3. ahf on August 31, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    I once gave myself the exercise to write a play, never using any verb or adjective twice. Exempt verbs: all forms of to be. Forced me to realize a lot of habits very quickly.

  4. Meg Gardiner on September 20, 2007 at 2:39 am

    Great, something new to obsess about! And the revised manuscript is due next week…

  5. The Rewrite Chronicles V « lying for a living on September 20, 2007 at 2:54 am

    […] I had the rewrite under control, I’ve found something new to obsess about. Laurie R. King asks, “you know something you never, ever want to do with a computer?” You don’t want to […]

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