It has a name…
Think of it as beating a dead horse… with a tire iron…throughout the entire book. It’s one of the basic peeves I have with any book, including my own. Every author has words they favor, and words they just like. One of mine is plethora. Pleth-or-a. I love that word.
What if I used plethora constantly in a book. You’d notice right? You’d be like, come on with the plethora already.
I am not just a writer. I’m an avid reader, and, much like doctors I imagine, I’m now the worst patient. This week, I read a book that shall not be named. Everything engulfed everyone; emotions, sensations, crowds, embraces. EVERYTHING, but, ironically, water in a book filled with surfers. The water never engulfed the surfers.
Things were ingrained that ought never be ingrained. Warily was replaced with wearingly ( Not a word in that context. Maybe not at all. Let me check.) TWICE. Twice, my friends. SIGH. He can’t look at you wearingly. I’m like ninety nine percent sure.
Wearingly: Causing fatigue; tiring: a wearing visit. 3. Causing wear; eroding: the wearing effects of wind on rock formations. 4. Subject to or showing indication of wear: lubrication applied to wearing points.
My point is this; we gotta be more careful, people. This is rookie stuff, and, yeah, we all do it. It’s common, especially in first books. Don’t believe me? Take a look at mine. Take a look at anyone’s, but by the third? We should have some of this figured out.
Our words are the basics of the book. Punctuation is distracting with the mistakes. Yes, and formatting badly can make a book painful to focus on. I speak from experience here. Word choice is the book. It’s the whole enchilada and more than a distraction.
I know there is this new trend to write quickly, to churn out books like an engulfing tide (see what I did there). It may even pay off for some of us when we hit on the hot genre, pay for advertising like a fiend and get our name out there. It may sell, and some of us may be fine with that. I’m not.
When did this stop being a craft? When did writers get so engrossed in the success they were chasing that the writing stopped mattering? This is a big deal because as a reader, I’m not liking this trend. I don’t at all. I want books. I want books that I can love, that say something important, that let a little of the author touch a little bit of something in me.
I want to be led by the hand down a path, through a story and out the other side with something at the end that I can keep forever. When did it stop being about that for us?