I guess I’ll tag this post under writing techniques because it might not be of interest to anyone else. It’s about what happens when a manuscript is “essentially” done.
For example, Wraith of Talera is finished except for one last reread. I’ll do that next week. Gonna let it sit a few days. I just finished some pretty much mechanical stuff on the manuscript this weekend and week. When a book is done I always do a “search” for particular words that I often overuse. In doing so this time I ended up taking out over 900 words that were basically useless out of almost 70,000. The words I search for in particular are, “that,” “my,” “though,” “still,” and “I.” It’s first person. I also search for “And,” “But,” and “Yet” at the beginning of sentences, which I overdo at times. I also search for “said,” and “asked” and take out excess ones And I search for words that need to be used sparingly, such as “suddenly” and “finally.”
Although I believe this is a good thing for writers to do, there is a risk. Searching through a whole novel this way for a single word can give the impression that the word is far overused when in fact it isn’t if you consider it spread out over the entire book. For example, I use “my” a fair amount in the Talera books, but this is, in part, because they are first person books and I need to cut out some of the “I”s that can really overwhelm the reader otherwise.
Someone told me not to worry about “said” because it becomes invisible to the reader. I’ve always heard that and I think it is generally true for me. However, I’ve noticed it does not become “inaudible” to those who listen to audio books. Since the Taleran books have been produced in Audio, I also wanted to remove excess “saids” for that reason.