Sunday, September 30, 2007

Things you fail to notice in writing and in life

So I trundle downstairs this morning to find a spotless kitchen floor, but kitchen cupboards stained with brown. Husbad had dropped a cup of coffee. He had the brains to clean the floor before the Wrath of Wife descended on him, but even with all his academic and professional brilliance at his power, it simply did not occur to him that the coffee might have landed anywhere other than on the floor, and his eyes failed to register the streaky cupboards.

When I write, my eyes fail to register the word 'just', and I have to go through all my manuscripts using find and replace to cut the 'justs' down to a reasonable amount. I've found it occurring three or four times in a single sentence. I also don't always notice repeated words in my own writing - a much harder problem to fix as I can't use find and replace on every possible word I might have used (can I?).

Is there anything your eyes or brain simply refuse to register, either in your writing or in the world around you?

7 comments:

Church Lady said...

Ahem. Miss Snark had a post called "That Gnats."

The word 'that' creeps into my writing. I have to keep editing it out. That be bad. :-)

Funny coffee story!

McKoala said...

I think most of us are guilty of them 'that's! Tricky little thing.

December/Stacia said...

Lol that's the sort of thing I would do. And I miss "just" and "really".

McKoala said...

Really, December? Really, really? Heh, heh.

Robin S. said...

Funny about the floor, McKoala. My husband is a floor cleaner as well, when he spies (or makes) a mess. Nothing else ever occurs to him.

I'm a repeater in writing, and I like it for effect, but too much is boring or feels like banging your head against a wall, I'm guessing - so I have to watch that closely. And I don't see it until days later - and/or until I read a passage out loud. It's like you said- gotta find that reasonable amount- where you're keeing the tone of the narrator, but not boring everyone (else) to death!

McKoala said...

Robin, I admire your ability to even spot the repetition. Mine is usually accidental and glaringly obvious - other than to me... That's what things like the Crapometer are for!

Robin S. said...

Hi, McKoala,

I don't always make it - I give it my best shot.

And when I don't make it on my own, I have two friends whose writing edits I trust, to tell me what I've missed.