Thursday, February 20, 2014

52 Word Pickup
























I think you guys are gonna LOVE this game. I know I do!

Not because I believe throwing my words up in the air when I'm revising will make them sprout comma-magnets, locking them into sentence perfection on the way down. No, it’d be nice, but we all know stuff like that doesn’t happen in the real word… #someonegetonthat.
52 Word Pickup has been around forever and has been known to prevent epic backstory battles and scandalous info dumping drama. (Don't bother Googling it, it doesn't exist).
I don’t know about you guys, but my left margin laughs maniacally, whenever I let more than a few returns go by without dialogue or some sort of showing.
Skinny pink-line brat gets all, “Yawn, girl. You’re losin’ ‘em.” And then my quotations sneer back, and then the semicolons get involved…
It gets ugly.
And shrieky.
“Use your inside voice!” My mom’s warning still screams in my head (I know, ironic right?).
So before my WIP gets out of hand and there's absolute wordemonium, I snatch up every last phrase involved in the info dumping investigation, and throw them all up in the air.
Of course, no word goes willingly.
And, watch out, they’re slick. I’ve even seen them stoop to italicized shape-shifting;  I've also caught some trying to pass themselves off as clever strikethroughs.
But this ain’t this writer’s first wordeo.
I’m in charge of the backspace button here.
Now, I can feel a few writers clutching their laquery, home-row keys, “EEK! Throwing your words up in the air is so harsh! Isn't there another way? Won’t they get hurt?” …um, I made it through childhood without a car seat, or cell phone so there’s my answer.
52 Word Pickup may sound extreme, but trust me, it's worth the extra cleanup. It forces a conversation where there was none before. It unclogs the backlog, and leads to solving most editing issues on the eight and a half by eleven stage.
…And, if not, you can always take ‘em out back and shred them. Totally your call.
“And don’t come back down until you can all get along!” Mom may have been loud, but she knew the deal.

3 comments:

Lauren Salkin on February 20, 2014 at 8:56 PM said...

You gotta watch out for those "italicized shape-shifters." LOL! Honestly, I like to kill my words when they become a problem. Maybe I'll throw them up in the air and torture them first before I exterminate them.

I'm off to the wordeo. : ) Great post!

Jayne Martin on February 21, 2014 at 8:02 AM said...

You're back! Are you staying or is this just a tease? Very funny, clever argument for "killing your darlings." I'm with you all the way girlfriend. It helps if you put the piece away for a day or two and then, when you come back to it, the little unsuspecting bastards are much easier pickings.

Lisa @ Grandmas Briefs on February 21, 2014 at 4:11 PM said...

My navel gazing is oh so jealous of your dialogue. I think I gotta get me some of that.
Happy to see you! I'll pick up your 52 words any day!

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