As a writer for many years, I am well aware of certain… oh, let’s say very naughty habits. Some things creep into my work, for example, such as “tilted her head.” I cannot seem to stop using that phrase. Another offense of mine? “Alright.” Technically, it should be “all right,” but I think that looks awkward. So it’s something I try to avoid, thanks to a beta reader pointing it out to me (thank you).
Of course, I notice some of these things as I edit, but not all of them. This is why beta readers are so important. They pick up those things we miss. Goodness knows we can’t edit our own work perfectly. We need other readers and editors to look it over. I’m very grateful for beta readers and editors. They are the most important people a writer will encounter, besides her fans. Fans who read closely, of course, will find these annoying things. And I know there are many such fans out there.
In reviewing the first draft of The Cupid Conundrum, I found some of my worst offenses. They definitely aren’t naughty in a cute way. More in a… “Why the hell did I write that” way. So the editing process was a time for me to really dig into the three short stories, look at their flaws, and see how I could strengthen them. It was also an opportunity to note all those frustrating little quirks and promise myself I would not let them come through in future works.
I just hope I don’t disappoint anyone, let alone myself!