Overused Words

I think I’ve written about this issue with editing before, but it bears repeating, and it is how I’m spending  all my time now except for celebrating Thanksgiving, of course.  photo (2)

From Margie Lawson, I’ve learned the value of checking my manuscript for overused words. Margie’s original list of about 40 words and phrases has grown to over 70. Some words I’ve learned to eliminate when I’m rough drafting. Others despite my best intentions creep in. Each book has it’s own special words I  add to the list.

One thing I like about this tedious process is it makes me read read each sentences as a stand-alone and not  get caught up in the story. In making changes, if I don’t delete the word, I use more specific words, growing the word count.

Examples and how I changed words follow.

Going to 73 down to 2 (Seems like a lot, but it’s fewer than in previous works.)

“So, Kim, what are you going to do over this waiting period?”

“So, Kim what are your plans for this waiting period.”

Well, I can take care of that. I’m going to come pick you up, and we’ll go shopping and eat dinner out.”

“I can take care of your problem. I’ll pick you up, and we’ll shop till we drop before eating dinner at a restaurant.”

“No, I mean after. What are you going to do after?”

“No, I mean after. What will you do with your life after the divorce?”

“One of the things I’m going to help Kim with is recognizing what her skills are.”

“I will help Kim recognize her skills.”

That from 335 to 53

She pulled into a garage that went with the condo, not that she needed all that space.

She pulled into a garage connected to the condo, though she didn’t need all the space.

Most remaining “that”s are pointing to something and not the connection (that) we use that is grammatically correct but unnecessary.

Began 14 to 3 (A word I used to use all the time but have mostly eliminated.)

Cooper set his sacks on the table and began to remove the items.

Cooper set his sacks on the table and removed the items from the bags, setting them on the counter.

They all exchanged hugs and exclamations and began chattering like they had only seen each other last week.

They all exchanged hugs and exclamations and chatted like they had only seen each other last week.

Darkness began to crowd the outer edges of her vision.

Darkness crowded the outer edges of her vision.

This change especially makes the action more immediate.

What I find with this editing process is my writing becomes tighter and more specific.

Really went from 80 to 7. Some went from 88 to 7. Watch went from 7 to 2. I seldom use watch or see anymore. Again, there’s an immediacy to the writing you lose when you say, “Jane watched the band.” As opposed to “The drums reverberated in Jane’s chest as the band marched down the street in perfect step.”

A few phrases from the list I don’t use are: in order to, by means of, for the most part, as a matter of fact, and so forth and so on.

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I’m fortunate to have four Beta Readers for the last book in The Second Chances Series, ACT OF SURVIVAL. When I’ve completed this word check, I’ll send it off to them. Then I’ll contact my cover artist Charlie Volnek. She’s done all my covers, and I love her work. Following that I’ll get the book edited. Shooting for not later than March. Had hoped to get the book out in late January or February, but I keep pushing the date. Life happens. 😊

If you’d like to have a copy of my list of words, I’d be happy to send it to you. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It was one of our best, despite one daughter being sick and one grand sharing her germs with me.

I’m running a $.99 cent sale through Nov. 29 on all sites for my first book.Vermont Escape 300dpi (1)

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Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic, FAMILY #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines with the topic, FAMILY

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


Was there a real threat, or just Rob’s perception of one? If there was, how could he protect his family from a threat that was unseen and unknown?

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


“You know I have no family, Del. Josh was all the family I had.”

Claire Gem


Who was in danger? Family members? The Barbies? Other classmates? Why reach out to me after more than two decades of silence?

Joanne Guidoccio


Two steps inside and the warmth of walls with a long history of family wrapped around her.

Kathryn Jane


“He sounds like a wonderful man. I’m sure you miss them all.” She wanted to learn more about his family. Her heart ached knowing she’d never get the chance to meet them.

S.A.Taylor
A Twisted Fate (work in progress)


Finally, with Bailey safe, he could do his thing with his computers, and he’d nail the SOB who harmed this family he’d come to care for.

Marsha West


Nate wanted her to succeed, to build a life with the family she loved. The problem was while she’d found what had given her life meaning, so had he . . . and she was about to walk out the door.

Sharon Wray


“I’ve used all of Grammie’s recipes. I don’t know where to find a new one.” “Couldn’t you start over with the first confection you entered five years ago?”

Vicki Batman
The Great Fruitcake Bake-off, Whispers of Winter set


The house was plenty big enough for a family, even if they chose to have more children. Kids. Joel grinned.

Jacquie Biggar


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic, LOVING #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines with the topic, LOVING

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


Laurel sat back and let the conversation flow, simply glad to just be included in this boisterous, loving family in some small way.

Jacquie Biggar


She had extricated him from his emotional exile to realize he was worth loving and capable of feeling the same deep love she gave him.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


He cupped my face. “Are you sad to see them go?” he asked, his loving gaze wandering over my face with tenderness and concern.

Claire Gem


“Now, imagine two tender loving hands cupped directly in front of you. Visualize them as God’s hands and release Luigi into them.”

Joanne Guidoccio


He placed his fingers against her lips. “This isn’t about control. It’s about loving you.”

Kathryn Jane


Somethings just didn’t hold a candle to the real thing like kissing him, holding him, and loving him.

S.A.Taylor
Follow Me (work in progress)


“We can help some, though I’m sickened at the idea of bailing out your louse of an ex-husband.” Her mother was such a kind person always ready to overlook slights others would take exception to, that the venom in her voice surprised and shocked Devon.

Marsha West


Nate was a selfish bastard who was sure of only one thing: loving Sarah was going to ruin him.

Sharon Wray


“Besides”-–I shoved my finger in her direction—-“shouldn’t the love be spread? Shouldn’t somebody else win the Bake-off?”

Vicki Batman
The Great Fruitcake Bake-off, Whispers of Winter set


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic, BRAVE #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines with the topic, BRAVE

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


I took a step back and bravely said, “If you don’t mind, I’d like to tell the judges what happened and turn in our ribbon.” “You don’t have to.”

Vicki Batman
The Great Fruitcake Bake-off, Whispers of Winter set


“You can barely stand,” she whispered, for Maggie’s ears alone. “Do not be so brave, you’re stupid.

Jacquie Biggar


You’re distraught and flogging yourself, and AJ checked himself into some dark and miserable mental prison. Even I wasn’t brave enough to ask why.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


Liv stood tall and brave, although Heath could see her hand shaking violently just before the glowing fingers of Daniel Ruffin touched hers. At the instant of contact, a sudden flash of light engulfed them both, momentarily blinding him.

Claire Gem


And so did seven other brave souls who thought it was worth the drive to Lively.

Joanne Guidoccio


He had wanted to look that brave, feel that sure of himself, and he wanted her. She wanted him too, and life was sweet—damn sweet…until it wasn’t.

Kathryn Jane


“No problem.” Detective Conley walked to the door. “You’re very brave, Ms. Burgmann. It might not seem like it right now, but the decision you made ultimately saved your life.”

S.A.Taylor
A Twisted Fate (work in progress)


He toasted her, “To a beautiful, caring, brave woman who I’m proud to know and have in my life. Are you in my life, Devon?”

Marsha West


Nate needed to be brave. Except bravery was what had landed them all in this hell in an ironic, first-place kind of way.

Sharon Wray


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being Creative

I admit—I’m addicted to the Holiday Baking Championship shows. The Thanksgiving, holiday, Easter, bake-off with champions, kids. All of them.

375px-Holiday_Baking_Championship_logo

Handsome thinks I’m hilarious. “But you don’t bake much.”

“I know. I just like watching their creativity in the challenges.”

For example: the opening episode of 2019 had the bakers using pumpkin spice in their confections. The winner of that heat had made a baby cake with homemade cranberry jam in the center and a flavored whipped cream. Another baker had started with a panna cotta; however, she hadn’t put in enough gelatin and had to think fast. She made a mousse and her bottom crust became a cookie. See how different their entries were?

Creativity.

grandmother My grandmother made Tomato Cake every Thanksgiving. It’s an old recipe developed during WW2. The unusual ingredient is Tomato Soup. Now before you get all weirdly freaked, know her cake never tasted like tomato soup. It had all the lovely spices used in holiday recipes, raisins, and dates. And once, she got all radical and added chopped canned pears and walnuts. Trust me when I say it was absolutely delicious.

After Grandmother had passed, my sister decided to make her cake and my sister’s twist was to add pineapple cream cheese frosting.

Quite startling for those of us who knew the all-time fav but was very tasty. Then most desserts with cream cheese frosting are very yummy.

asteriks 2

The same thing can be said about writing. So many of us write in lots of genres. I tend to stick with romantic comedy shorts and mysteries; however, I have written shorts with magical elements.

When I decided to add “The Great Fruitcake Bake-off” to the Whispers of Winter holiday anthology, I reviewed and revised. I became more creative.

08 27 18 wow final cover

If you’re wanting something to cuddle with on a chilly winter night, you might want to try the Whispers of Winter, available at:

Amazon

Nook
Kobo
iBooks

Have you lost your mind?

by Kathryn Jane

I keep asking myself this question.

Why?

Because I’ve been told many, many times that a writer should always stick to one genre, yet in the span of just a few months I’m releasing four books, in three different genres.

Why?

Because I write what I want to write. What I feel. I don’t write to the market. That is, I don’t write a book based on how well that particular genre is selling, or because that “subject” is hot right now.

Nope.

Can’t do it.

I have always written for the sheer joy of it, and now, even though I have a following of readers who love my Romantic Suspense series–readers begging for the next book–I still follow my heart and write for the joy.

Somehow, that seems to work, and my readers are happy with my choices, so it’s a win for all of us.

How do I choose what will give me joy?

I don’t choose. Stories show up in my head as an opening scene and simply grow from there. Sometimes the scene is simple, sometimes complex, but they are always interesting.

MISSING, came to me as the simple, crystal clear moment when a mountain climber pops his head up over a ledge and comes face to face with a mamma bear and her two cubs…

 

DIAMONDS TO DIE FOR, began with two people sitting on a bench in front of a barn full of racehorses. It was early evening and all was peaceful, quiet but for the sounds of contented horses chewing hay, rustling about in their straw…

 

CALLISTA GOES COUNTRY began with a funny scene I can’t resist sharing with you.

“Get off!”

Under normal circumstances, Callista Fontaine was mild-mannered, adjusted easily to whatever came her way, frequently laughed at herself, and only once in a blue moon raised her voice.

But normal was gone and her life in the city but a distant memory. Here she sat—at the butt crack of dawn—doing something she had never in a million years dreamed of doing.

Milking a goat.

And the baby goat, which she actually—God help her—delivered into the world only a few days earlier, was dancing a jig on her hunched back while nibbling on the tendrils of hair sticking out from under her hat.

 

CATS: A Heartwarming Collection of Furry Tales, Volume #5  began here:

Rain dripped from the edge of the overhang, barely missing Eddie where he was hunkered down, waiting out the storm.

He didn’t like storms, and really didn’t like being alone while thunder rolled and rain pelted from the sky.

Water was beginning to cover the ground and creep up toward him, making him feel like he would soon be sitting in a puddle.

He should have left when the other cats did.

 

In total, two Romantic Suspense, one Contemporary Romance, and one Collection of Short Stories.

Have I lost my mind?

Nope.

And better still? I have a new opening scene tugging at me, and although I think it will be a mystery, I won’t know for sure until my fingers hit the keys and words become sentences…

Want to check out more books and other stuff I’m doing these days?  (Yes, I’ve just added more author services to my list, and I’m having great fun helping out my fellow writers.) Pop on over to my website: https://kathrynjane.com/

 

 

 

Sneak Off and Read: Lines with the topic, STUBBORN #RSsos #RomSuspense

#OneLineSunday by #RSsos Lines with the topic, STUBBORN

Interested in reading more? Click on the book covers below for information about the novel and the author.


Sarah hugged her father, and he kissed her head before pulling away. Since he was a proud, stubborn ex-cop, these moments were rare and she’d have to remember every one for both their sakes.

Sharon Wray


He passed me in a rush, leaving a wave of citrus in his wake, and me, a tad bewildered. Determined to not transform into a befuddled lunatic, I shut the door and slid my fists in my hoodie’s pockets.

Vicki Batman
The Great Fruitcake Bake-off, Whispers of Winter set


As the air ambulance took off, he stubbornly held on to consciousness, but was too weak to respond with more than a plaintive look at the nurse.

Sam Bradley w/a McKenna Sinclair


I heard a tiny part of me—the independent, stubborn, emotionally armored part that had carried me down here—screaming from the back of my mind: Don’t give up.

Claire Gem


“Smart, beautiful and stubborn. You haven’t changed a bit, Gilda Greco.” He lowered his voice. “After all of this is over, I’m taking you out to dinner.”

Joanne Guidoccio


He sat back stubbornly and she sighed. “I’m not leaving here without you.”

Kathryn Jane
Cats: Volume #5


“Why this stubbornness to protect Bailey on her own?” A glance passed between Mike and Addie. Brett pushed. “Well…what do you know?”

 

Marsha West