The “LY” Pass




Hello writerly persons.

It’s always a surprise just how many unnecessary adverbs I throw in.

Today I’m going through the entire WRECKING BALLS manuscript with the search function just to seek them out. After that I’ll do another pass hunting down “ING” words.

The point is to analyze each instance and to justify it. Many adverbs are stellar and useful. Many others are just habitual, a bad habit that suddenly (<–there’s one) screams out when you search for them. It’s a wake-up call, and it forces you to reasses your stylistic flourishes. So many improvements were made this morning, while I was originally on the fence if the book might be near completion (ha!).

I will do the “ing” pass next. This pass has alerted me to a number of sentences that were clunky, some passive, some just unnecessarily strewn with adverbs when the verb was sufficient all on its own.

On a previous pass, on a previous day, I went through one certain character’s dialogue to pepper it with regionalisms. That was a vast improvement. This is my comprehensive strategy to isolate certain facets of the narrative and scrutinize. It should elevate the work and put that extra smidgen of stank on it.

So, if no one else told you about this shit, there you go.


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