I’m “of an age” where my hair color comes out of a bottle. No, not the tequila bottle…the voodoo my hairdresser concocts in the back room, where I believe they chant over bat wings and eye of newt. Such is the rage of my gray hairs.
I have lots of them. Or I imagine I do. I’m too busy killing them off like a heat-seeking missile to actually know….which leads me to “gray hair” words – those annoying little things that you tend to repeat in your writing until your readers are ready to toss your book under a garbage skow. Luckily, editors find them and kill them for you. For example, I’ve killed “that”… a “gray hair” word… in a manuscript 1200 times.
But wouldn’t it be nice to kill those “gray hair” words before you submit out? Or worse, self-publish?
We all have “gray hair” words. Mine is “really.” Go figure. It seems to be a weakness of mine, and it sneaks its bad self into my writing on a regular basis – just like my gray hair – and I have to go back and kill them. But many writers haven’t developed the ability to self-edit, and miss those “gray hair” words, so when it crosses my desk, my head spins, and I develop an eye tic.
I remember reading a book from a very well-known writer who used “palaver” and “piny woods” to frustrating excess. It was so bad that I found myself counting the abuses rather than engaging in the story. How did his editor let this pass? It’s been years since the hubs and I read that book, and we still toss in a “palaver” or “piny woods” whenever the chance arises because it’s gotten to be a bad joke between us.
It’s OK if you let your hairs go au naturale, but do take your writing to the literary hairdresser and cover up those gray hair words that litter your writing.
What is/are your gray hair word(s)?