Would you believe this is the final installment of our self-editing checklist series?! Whew, we've crammed a lot into our brains, but hopefully our manuscripts are sparkling clean as a result.
Specifically, we want to analyze our word choices in the following ways.
1) Do we use words that are understandable? Would the average reader understand them, or would they have to keep a dictionary handy? For more on this topic, including some exercises to strengthen your word choices, check out this post.
2) Do we use words that are vibrant? Do our word choices sparkle with our unique voice and create clear images in the reader's mind? Have we used strong verbs and nouns rather than relying on excessive adjectives and adverbs? For more exercises and tips, visit this post.
3) Have we avoided cliche phrases and descriptions? Hopefully we've eliminated cliche characters and plot lines, but now we want to look at each sentence and eliminate anything that even hints at a cliche, putting our own unique twist on it.
5) Have we read our scenes aloud? Doing this enables us to catch awkward phrasing and word choices, and it helps us create a beautiful flow of words.
Your homework, should you choose to accept it: Analyze each sentence and word choice, weighing their value. Check out Rachelle's blog post, and do a search in your document for certain words that can be eliminated. And finally, read it aloud and listen for those breaks in flow.
So that's it! You've survived the self-editing checklist. Congratulations! :) If you need to go back and revisit certain points, you can find them all together here.
Do you ever read your scenes aloud? What word choices do you tend to get stuck on? Have I missed any important points in my self-editing checklist that you'd like to add?
*Book photo by vichie81 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
**Reading photo by Graur Codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net