Thursday, February 17, 2011

Death to Ly

Often I critique others work. I go through making comments on what I like and what I don't. After doing this for a year and critiqueing 20+ full manuscripts as well as many partials I've come to know what I'm talking about and I've developed a few pet peeves.

Any word ending in LY. I wish death upon them. So often if the writer would take the time to get rid of them they would work so much better. Sometimes of course there is no way around these words but the less used the better.

ING - This is a passive thing. I want see, feel, hear, smell everything. I want to be so drawn into the book I forget its a book. The fewer words that end in ing the easier it is for me to slip between the pages and take flight in a new realm.

Authors who refuse to use that wonderful tool called SPELL CHECK. It's such an easy thing in most programs they even underline it in red when the word is wrong. It's a simple request to review your own work BEFORE sending it out to others.

And then of course there's my biggest pet peeve. The one that makes me stagger over everything. Compared to this all others can be forgiven and looked past. And that one I hear you ask. Well that one is...


Yes. That's right. The he said, she said, asked, etc. Once in a while is fine but every time I come across one of these I think why didn't they describe an action, or why is that there. The sentence before this it tells us who this is by what they're doing.

Now you all know my pet peeves. I know I'm not the only one as I've had other critiquers point them out in my own work, and (hide my head) this morning while looking through a novel I haven't picked up for months I found several of them myself.

So while we are all at fault for these things at one time or another they're still my pet peeves and the fewer I find in a manuscript the easier it is to read.

But then maybe that's just the writer in me.


  1. I'm in the process of stripping my WIP of all those -ly words and dialogue tags. It's looking a lot better already :)

  2. I have the same pet peeves as you!

  3. This post made me LOL. Glad you got that off your chest?