IWSG: Pet Peeves


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group (click on the badge above for the list) and connect with your fellow writers - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

Be sure to stop by and visit other IWSG members and our wonderful hosts for the month,
Christine Rains, Dolarah @ Book Lover, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Yvonne Ventresca, and LG Keltner!

The question this month is about your pet peeves when reading, writing or editing. Since I don't want to talk about my writing (what writing?) right now, I'm diving into this one!

As a reader, my pet peeves are poor editing and poor writing! Okay, that's a cop-out. But I will dump a book if the opening chapters have too many typos/errors, and I will dump a book faster than you can blink if it has anachronisms and problems with a consistent and believable tone. I am actually more likely to finish a book with a weak plot than one with errors of that sort--they just irritate and distract me too much, while I'm probably too good at the willing suspension of disbelief.

As a writer,  my biggest pet peeve is me. I mean, I'm bugged by the things that keep me from writing, and as Pogo Possum once said, I have met the enemy and she is me (okay, I paraphrased that). On a maybe more useful note, I have a problem with diving in without an adequate plan, and I hate it when I do that!

If we want to talk about my pet peeve as being what I struggle most with, that has to be editing, which is made all the worse when I dive in without an adequate plan (see above). Editing is hard under the best of circumstances, though the more I do it the more I have come to enjoy at least some elements at some times. This, of course, brings me to my favorite pet peeve about editing my own work (as for editing other people's work, I don't really have a peeve, because fixing those things are what I'm there for).

With my own books, I struggle with the step from seeing the big view of what needs fixing ("make this character more distinct" "provide more justification for this plot point") to actually implementing it. It's not that it annoys me, but that it's danged hard. I do dislike it when I'm supposed to be doing big-picture editing and I get all caught up in polishing sentences.

Over to you. What will make you put down a book and run, not walk, to the nearest exit? Or what will make you want to throw your MS out the window and take up a new career as a greeter at Walmart?


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