Thursday, March 17, 2011

Brain Fatigue and Maturing Your Manuscript

I really hate brain fatigue.  The kind that prevents you from seeing mistakes.  When you work on a manuscript day in and day out, you are bound to get it.  Here are the top three annoying mistakes I often make and then catch only after I've had a rest from a manuscript:

--I use the same words, especially verbs and adjectives, over and over, within a short space of one another.   Don't know why, just happens.  Seems like it happens more with the more unusual words--like my brain thinks they are clever and wants to keep using them.

--I lose my ear for good dialogue.  Even if I think it's good at the time, it doesn't sound so good later.

--I sacrifice emotional depth to plot.  I think it's all I can do to get the plot down the first couple of go-rounds.   Have to really think and make connections and layer in emotional conflict as time goes on.

These are all reasons why writing is not a solitary profession after all.  I used to think it was.  But connections are made and ideas are grown when work is shared...not to mention, mistakes are fixed!

I entered my newest manuscript into the Golden Heart last fall, but it has "ripened" and changed a lot since then.  Seems like my writing needs this time to be re-thought out and given depth through draft after draft.

I wonder, with experience, do you make less of these errors?  Do you "get it" quicker?