#author A word on Wordles and better #writing habits.

I’m not a big fan of technology replacing my brain. I believe I should learn from my mistakes and not repeat them (this doesn’t always happen).

It was only when I began writing and editing the MS for my second book that I realised how often I transferred the words I use when speaking to writing.

For example when people are being a bit tedious I might say: “It seems alright”

And then there are those phrasal verbs (including – for pedants – “phrasal prepositional verbs”) used in everyday speech and which litter the MS with prepositions, become repetitive, and kill something – I’m not yet sure exactly what.

There’s also the problem of repeating the same word eg: I hardly knew him, I hardly ever go there, I had hardly started when…

I don’t mean that writing should be pretentious or fake, but extending and varying vocabulary isn’t such a bad idea.

I’m still getting used to writing tens of thousands of words in one text so  I don’t always notice filter words when I edit.

An editor suggested I use a Wordle for my last book; I did and wondered what I was supposed to do next.
Last night, the penny dropped and I created a Wordle of the MS for my second book. I had no idea so many of my characters “nodded” just for the sake of breaking up dialogue, or that I used phrasal verbs with the preposition “back” so many times.

I think Wordles should be used after finishing the last major edit of an MS before giving it to an editor. I still haven’t finished mine, but in a few weeks I’ll be focusing on those unnecessary words which are repetitive and slow the pace of sentence.

I don’t want to hand over responsibility to the Wordle but if I delete unnecessary words in my own edits  – instead of the copy editor deleting so many of them – I hope to develop better writing habits and in future won’t need to use one. Practise makes perfect.


About S.A. Aslam

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