Remember how I opened that critique e-mail from an agent and learned that I need to be less wordy in my writing? Well, I did a quick and dirty edit on my manuscript just now. I removed all of the VERYs, TOTALLYs, REALLYs, and for good measure, the MARVELOUSes. I was going to target MARVELOUS anyway because I know I overused it. The manuscript is in blog format, and each post title contained MARVELOUS as part of my gimmick. Originally, the blog was just for family and friends and they were very forgiving of my kitsch. The title was “The Marvelous Adventures of the Fabulous Nolens,” after all.
Anybody want to guess how many words I removed? Let’s have a contest! Winner is the person who makes the closest guess. I’ll send you something interesting. Here’s a frame of reference: the original manuscript was 88,662 words. It covered 186 days of my family’s daily lives and adventures in England with a couple of short trips to Scotland, Ireland, and France thrown in for good measure and entertainment value.
So how many superlatives did I slash? Contest is open until midnight MST, Saturday, January 28, 2012. You can have 5 entries in the contest. In addition to total words cut, you can also guess how many each of VERY, REALLY, TOTALLY, and MARVELOUS I removed. Leave your best guesses in the comments section and make sure to include your email so I can let you know if you win. If you are one of my Facebook buddies reading this, you can leave your guess here or in the Facebook comments.
I’ll send the 5 winners something interesting. I promise it won’t be something my kids think is interesting like a broken Happy Meal toy they found on their walk home from school. It will be something I find interesting like an expensive chocolate bar from the organic grocery store.