Four of the seven books are self-published and on Amazon. Of these three are first time authors. Three are ‘traditional print’ books with one first time author.
|photo by N. Rigg|
Three of the books no longer occupy virtual shelves on my Kindle Fire. Two of the printed ones has a home on the bottom shelf of the bookcase–for now. They are all in the dog pile. At least on the Kindle the virtual poop doesn’t smell or take up space.
I hated to do it but I couldn’t read the novels anymore. It’s unfortunate that two of them are ARC’s* for book reviews. I pushed myself through two (one an ARC) because the stories had me fascinated. Only one book out of seven, Catherine Ryan Hyde’s When I Found You, made the list of well written reads and retains a place on the physical book shelf.
The proliferation of useless words and overuse of adverbs (the -ly’s) slung four books into the dog pile. I felt bad dropping those books. I’d feel worse slugging through the novel until the end. What did these less than desirable novels have in common?
|by MAlvaradoFrazier-Click to enlarge|
The novels came peppered and over salted with useless words. The ‘-ing’s’ at the beginning of sentences drove me crazy. The ‘As’s’ all over the place made me cross-eyed. One writer used “Suddenly” in every chapter. Several writers had passive sentences on every page. After a dose of these needless words my interest waned. They took me out of the story. I spent more time rewriting the sentences in my head.
I’m guilty of every one of those words on the graphic. My first manuscript came back drenched in a red sea of edits, you’d thought I typed in red. It wasn’t about using correct grammar, it was about passive sentences, the overuse of adverbs, and the ‘as’ construction.
It took one book (recommended by the person who did the edit) to set me straight on this subject: Self Editing for the Fiction Writer: How to Edit Yourself into Print. Renni Brown and Dave King’s book Self-Editing devotes a chapter titled Sophistication to illustrate:
Writing, like a beautiful looking meal, is inedible when over salted. Do you have any ‘reading’ pet peeves you’d like to share? I’d like to hear them because anything that helps us become better writers is a good thing.
*ARC (Advanced Reading Copy)