Do you have any writing tics (habits or problems which you repeat in your prose)? How do you deal with them?
Yes, I do. And. But. Very. But. That. But. And. Very. That. There you go – out of my system now.
Some things are true writing tics, some I see as habits of speech my characters use – there’s a difference.
Beyond that, we all have tics when we speak – a turn of phrase, a favourite saying – and they work just fine in real life, but they can grate on the page. Thus, I try to use a character’s speaking tics in a spare manner, though I admit it’s not always easy and I often need an editor to reel me back in.
None of us is perfect – I know I’m not, and I also know I’m always learning. I doubt I’ll ever learn enough to become a totally tic-free writer, though. But I’ll try. And try. Very hard. There, that’s that. (Editor keels over, weeping.)
Cathy Ace writes the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries (book #2 THE CASE OF THE MISSING MORRIS DANCER will be available in trade paperback on August 31st in the UK, and in November in the US/Canada, and the Cait Morgan Mysteries (book #7 THE CORPSE WITH THE GARNET FACE was published in paperback in April). Find out more about Cathy and her work, and sign up for her newsletter at http://cathyace.com/