Hello, it’s Friday! I know what you’re saying, “Well, duh…we’ve been waiting for a challenge for two days. We know what day it is. Do you?”
I do now.
This was all done on purpose. We wanted to give you time to catch up on the seven other challenges so you are ready for our eighth and final one. Okay, maybe not, but we do want as many people as possible to qualify for the raffle. There’s a fabulous literary treat-filled basket just waiting for a new home. Remember to comment in the corresponding challenge post.
This week’s challenge is actually the brainchild of the lovely Laura Bowers, so don’t give me credit for it. You can, however, totally blame me for the execution of this great idea! And no, despite the previous sentence, this is not an exercise on double entendres.
Ever read through a draft of your book and roll your eyes at how many times you use the same word or phrase? I have. When I think of it, I just roll my eyes in frustration. Even my friend and mentor rolled her eyes after she saw how many times I used it. You’d think I could come up with another way to convey teenage annoyance. Well I couldn’t. By the end of my novel, there was so much eye rolling you’d think I was writing about a Linda Blair convention. All that was missing was the head spinning and the…never mind.
“We get it, Susan. Moving on. Oh, and btw…the Linda Blair reference? Totally dating yourself.” Now that would have been a good challenge! Dated references!
So, here’s the challenge: First, go through a draft of either a current work or previous one and search for the terms you tend to overuse. Next, pick one and write a nasty paragraph containing that term at least twice. If you’re feeling particularly gnarly, use it three or four times. Finally, rewrite the same paragraph without it, but still conveying the same emotions or descriptions you intended. Remember, this doesn’t have to be a piece of great literature. At all. Have fun with it and then post what you’ve done here.
Illustrators, I tried to channel my inner Chieu, but of course came up empty. When your artistic skills consist of stick figures and not being able to draw a straight line, even with a ruler, coming up with something for you talented folks is near impossible. You get a free pass this week, which means – Congratulations! You are done! If not, now you have extra time to tackle the challenges you haven’t gotten to yet.
Okay, friends. Have at it and have fun! This time next week we will be on the eve of our conference. Can’t believe how fast the time has gone!
Have a great weekend!