Thursday, 7 October 2010


I apologize for my lack of blogtion recently. I'm feeling a bit frazzled. I have also been very busy turning my novel into a building site and dealing with the creeping fear that maybe I won't be able to put it back together again. I will, won't I?

In the reject rubble pile, it's funny how the same misshapen brick keeps turning up. We all have our own writing foibles, but mine seem to be dominated by overuse of the word 'seem'. Sorry, I mean mine are dominated...

What do you think, is it just a harmless literary tic? Or is it a sign of a feeble intellect (along with making up words like 'blogtion'.)? Whatever it is, dealing with it seems... sorry, is certainly snapping my writing into better shape.


  1. We all have those words that haunt us. It's part of our everyday language. What I might say would differ from others simply because I am an American, living in the west. I search for those obnoxious, habit forming, additive words in my ms and other writing, highlight them in living, ok, cyber color, and then ponder what would work better.
    Did you notice the word, o.k. Yeah, it is a habit.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  2. I wonder if it's possibly one of two things - you're writing as you, allowing your own conversational fillers to occupy your text (I do this in blog posts all the time, eg "so"...)or it's lack of confidence in yourself which allows room for doubt to creep into the language - like when I'm not sure about a character but want to include them and all I can write about them is that "they think"..."this might be" or "possibly", or they "wondered"...always a bad sign....never have a wondering decisive! Ahem...nerves are good thought, aren't they? Stop us being overly assertive arrogant types...Anyhow (that's one of my overused, see)...the writing is what it's all, (argh) if writing's keeping you from blogging, that's actually a good thing!

  3. I get collywobbles when I read my building site. I often wonder if my adult novel writing is too simple. Then I wonder if my children's work is too complicated.

    Good luck putting yours back together. :)
    Nissi Peters

  4. Looking forward to seeing the rebuilt version. "Seem" does suggest a certain reluctance, a certain uncertainty to me, so I would imagine it's a good idea to make these more assertive. I didn't notice them when I read the book though!

    But, yes, I'm sure we all have tics like this. A lot of my characters sigh, I've noticed.

  5. Thanks for the comments. Lack of confidence in myself might be part of it. As in doubt that I have the right to state things in print. That would make 'seem' a weasle way to hedge my bets, I suppose. It's interesting though to spot something like this, and encouraging to see that dealing with it results in stronger and more assertive voice. Of course, it doesn't help that the story lends itself to things possibly being other than they seem.

    I'm coming apart at the seems!

  6. oops! Commenting as my wife can't help!

  7. Mr Taylor! I have found you! I attended German class with you many moons ago at CRC here in Cambridge.

    I've been wondering for a fair while what you've been up to and am very pleased to find you writing here online!

    I shall be reading with interest.

  8. Herr Devlin! Wie gehts? I remember those classes all too well:) How are things in sunny Cambridge?

  9. Gut danke, und dir? Hope you don't remember them for bad reasons! All good over here thanks, Cambridge is much the same as always!

  10. Ha ha, no bad reasons:) I enjoyed them, and even got a shiny GCSE at the end of it.

  11. Same here. First and only one for me, which makes me sound like a dunce, but since we don't have GCSEs in Ireland, I have other qualifications!

    Do you tweet?


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