Wednesday, December 3, 2008

We don't need no stinking ellipses ...

See? I did it again. Ellipses are my bane. When it comes to the nitty-gritty of copyediting I have two things I need to search for: ellipses and dashes. I tend to overuse them. While it's true most dialog isn't composed of perfectly completed sentences, I'm pretty sure it's not composed of so many dangling ones, either.

I spent most of my writing time last weekend just picking through two manuscripts and fixing bad habits. I already did my plot check, character check, and setting check. I layered in the sight, sounds, touch, smell, etc. All that was left was the nits.

It seems like I just replace old bad habits with new ones. I used to overuse 'that' a lot. I finally broke myself of that habit. Then I discovered my propensity for "some", "really" and "though". I weaned myself from those. Now I have the dot-dot-dot, dash-dash one.

The good thing about this kind of self-examination is that I am correcting more and more things as I write so that they don't even creep into my first draft. I wonder if I'll ever have a bad-habit-free first draft someday?


No comments: