That said, I’m exhausted, and not just physically. I just tried to sleep for an hour and got out of bed to type, because all of the voices and emotions of the weekend are roiling over me. I operate on the ‘hermit’ model of writing, so getting out to the big city like this is a bit like the moment when Dorothy walks out of her house in Oz and holy shit it’s all in COLOR. I have never understood why Judy Garland didn’t just lie down flat on the stage and stare at the ceiling. (Don’t answer that. I know perfectly well that they did all that in the editing room, and also, I want to note that when I was a kid, our first TV was this old black and white thing. So I saw the movie all in black and white. My Mom watched it every year, and she had this antique chamber pot upstairs because there was no toilet and when she was pregnant with my sister she didn’t always have enough time to get downstairs to the potty. Anyway, I was sitting on that thing getting ready to go pee the first year we had the color TV turned on, and when things went from B&W to vibrant color, I missed the pot because I forgot to take off the porcelain lid. I was THAT blown away.)
Anyway, I got excellent critique on two novels I’ve got going right now, and a publisher willing to look at both. (No, that does NOT mean that they have been accepted. It means they’ve been solicited. Which is fucking huge.)
I did pick up one thing that’s annoying me tonight, and so I’ll pass it along to you, my readers. I don’t think of myself as small-time. I consider myself a professional writer. SO when I realize I’m making an amateur mistake in something I consider polished, then I get bugged. In the publishing world, there are buzzwords, things you don’t put in your novel because they are out of favor with the publishing elite. I am aware of this .The list changes. It typically grows. Exclamation points, right now, are out of favor. (I happen to disagree with this one in particular- I think it’s just stupid to prejudice against a bit of punctuation which is perfectly appropriate to add emphasis to a statement, but I digress.) “He said” and “She said” go in and out. Some years, they are fine, others they are oh-so-wrong. This year, it seems to depend on who you talk to.
Anyway, this editor pointed out that I overuse a particular buzzword. The word ‘just’. And I went, “Holy shit she’s right, and that’s based on a two page sample.” So on the way home, I was editing my most polished novel (well, except for Divorce) which is 258 pages long.
instances of the word ‘just’.
That’s like massive overuse of a word, even if it’s not a buzzword. I left in I think five. (There were 268 total.) And I’m so vexed that I didn’t SEE that, didn’t feel it when I was reading out loud. I used that word more than an average of once per page. And I didn’t even fucking see it. Fucking annoys me. And I can’t sleep, because I overused a word. Which is outrageously dumb and not anything to stress out about at ALL, and yet here I am, flipping my wig when all my body wants is for me to curl up in a ball and conk out.
Here. I’ll overuse my favorite word to make myself feel better. Fuck. Fuck Fuck. Fuckity fuck fuck. Fuck fuckity fuck fuck fuck fuck.
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.