I have been editing my WIP, Loran Rudder and the Secret Key, for months now. For me, edits two through four are the longest and hardest. I am only on two.
I am looking for unnecessary verbiage. I mean, get this, I spoke about a character waking up from "dreamless sleep". I know I have read that same sort of sentence in a lot of books, but really, is that necessary?
If you are waking up from a dreamless sleep, that means there was nothing in the sleep to talk about. It was formless, void of anything. (I have those a lot so I definitely know about that.)
If it is imperative that the reader know that your character woke up (since them NOT waking would mean they are dead, depends on the story) you could just talk about them waking and stretching, but is the dreamless sleep something that is important? Unless they are having nightmares that are leading them to finding corpses, I mean, then the dreamless sleep might serve a high priority purpose!
Maybe I am just over thinking this but, how much of our writing is just blather? I know we all do some of this "unnecessary" stuff. How many times I have found myself repeating the same thing in a long paragraph? A million of times. It's like I cannot get my brain to accept that I JUST said that.
Want an example?
She woke from a dreamless sleep and stretched. The alarm never went off which meant she was late. The formless dream had meant she slept well, but that wouldn't help her with the boss. He was a stickler for punctuality. She rolled out of bed and tried to recall any part of her nighttime mind. She couldn't recall anything. No dreams had been there. She'd know if she'd dreamt anything.
Well, okay so that is not a great example but really, those are pretty obvious two by fours you are pounding the reader over the head with.
Happy Thursday, Murderers. Stop that unnecessary stuff and get on with that story!