Funny how editing your novel really shows off your literary limps. The little phrases you lean on, the sensory language you favor, the way you have to end every chapter, for some reason, on a sentence that is its own paragraph. (Why do you do that?)
Today I’m laughing at myself because I’ve just read through and marked up three more chapters, and I’m now keeping a tally mark in the side of my notebook every time I read the phrase “the spell is broken”. The count is five, now, and we’re in chapter 9.
“He shakes his head, and the spell is broken.”
“The spell is broken now, and …”
“He looks at her, the spell fully broken, and sees …”
I mean, come on.
Good news, I guess, is that I’m still able to laugh at myself over it. Bad news is that I’m still in the first third of the novel, which statistically means I’ve got at least ten more “the spell is broken”s before I make it to the end. Ten might be a bit much, but I know I’ve got some more lurking out there in the chapters ahead.
Course, this is why we edit. You take the hard look to see the irritating little things like these. So that you can take the buzzsaw to them in the second draft.
Ah, well. Lunch is over. The spell is broken. Guess it’s back to work.
Seriously gotta come up with better ways to say it, though. Ideas?