"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Friday, April 04, 2008

I think I felt that way...

But I'm not really sure.

Sounds pretty bad, huh?

This is something I notice I do in my writing. And in my speech. I used "I think" and "I felt" way to much. My husband says it's fear of being wrong.
If I say "I think it's going to rain today" I'm not putting my bottom out on the line. If it rains, I thought it would; if not, I wasn't wrong.
If I say "It's going to rain today" then if it does rain, I look like a genius. If not, I was flat out wrong.

I'm working on this myself. I want to be more clear of what I really believe and what I don't. And I'm working on this for my characters too. The more assertive ones can't be running around saying "I think he'd the bad guy." They need to know he's the bad guy.

Similarly, as someone in my crit group pointed out to me, I need to use "I felt" as little as possible.
"I felt my heart speed up."
"My heart sped up."
See the difference?
One sounds assertive. One sounds so emotional and wishy-washy.

I'm not saying I plan to globally search and remove all my "I thinks" and my "I felts". But I am searching on them and considering each one.

What's your latest writer's habit your trying to break?


Christine M said...

I tend to want to start every line of dialog with 'well'. I just delete it after I type it. I've yet to find a place where it is really necessary.

PJ Hoover said...

Well... I've never noticed this in your writing! But now my radar is up :)

Reader Rabbit 2 said...

I think I have the same problem

Reader Rabbit 2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly said...

Chris: I love "Well" too.

PJ Hoover said...

Reader Rabbit 2, I think it is a common problem :) I felt like others would have the same issue.

Kelly, it's official. I'm adding "well" to my list of things to notice.

Dawn Buthorn said...

My word is just. I tend to use it all the time, especially in dialog. When I finish my first draft I'll search and destroy.

PJ Hoover said...

Hey Dawn! I see "just" in my stuff tons also. Must add it to the list!

TJBrown said...

I have Cp's who catch me on the I felt so many times that I broke myself of that one. Now I have an issue with really. LOL

PJ Hoover said...

Hey Teri! Isn't it funny how we all have (or had) the same problems :)

Jim D said...

Well, really, the only problem I think I can remember is just that I felt I had to call my main characters Mr. and Mrs. instead of Mom and Dad.

Somebody broke me of that though.

Jim D.

Jim D said...

Ooops....the main character's parents (bad comment proof reading)

Jim D

PJ Hoover said...

Well, I feel like you are thinking the right way. Just really believe in yourself, Mr. D.
I think.

carla said...

the word SIMPLY.

why do I use that all the time?


PJ Hoover said...

Because it's an awesome word, MizFit!