Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sentences that Jar with the Sound of Failure.

The other day I wrote a clanger of a sentence. It started with this: Even though she knew she assumed that…

What?

It even stayed in my text for three days before I noticed.

/facepalm

Take a deep breath, Lyn. That’s why I edit and harass my critique partners. Not everything has to be perfect in the beginning. Even the worst sentences can be fixed.

Have you ever written some whoppers that make you question your skills as a writer? Please share and make me feel better.

65 comments:

  1. ah, now I'm actually intrigued to find out what is it that she knew but assumed that ... :)

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  2. Hooo boy, yes I have. I'm finding plenty in this latest revision.

    Take heart in the fact that you at least recognized the clunker when you saw it! That means you're becoming a better writer. ;)

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  3. Yes, yes I have: hmm let me see what am I willing to share:"She was beginning to get scared"

    ya- no clue why I made it passive lol

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  4. Yep. I've written some doozeys. They usually include typos.

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  5. Sure have. They leave me scratching my head and wondering if it's English or if I was channeling aliens.

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  6. Oh yes. Sometimes I get very tangled in my own sentences and don't even know how to finish them! Sentence quicksand. : )

    Glad to find you, fellow Crusader!!

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  7. Definitely. Sometimes I'll scroll through something I'm writing, spot something, then think "Gosh. I WROTE that?"

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  8. I have tons of awful sentences in my current wip!!! LOL!!! I've just now cut a run on sentence into a million pieces!!!

    Take care
    x

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  9. "Altogether, the evening cost me $30 and load of self-respect for staying at the show and the coffee I had with the Victorian girl afterward."

    Missed the "a" before "load of self-respect" then killed the sentence with poor organization. Yeah! :)

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  10. I think I took that same pic on the Great Ocean Road!

    demitrialunetta.blogspot.com

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  11. Ah, you guys made me laugh so hard.

    Dezzy, I think my MC was intrigued as well...in a knowing, assuming kinda way ;)

    Tere, hehe, so true

    Summer, hahaha, yarp, I think I've done something like that in the past too.

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  12. Nods head, raising hand. I have plenty of bad sentences.

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  13. "The room had very little people in it." Oy vey...my husband asked it I was writing about midgets. Few, Raquel...few!
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

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  14. Alicia, ah yes, the dreaded typos.

    M Pax, I'll go with channeling aliens. Yep, wasn't me! It was those pesky aliens!!

    Megan, lol sentence quicksand. Yes! been there! (all too often)

    Golden, that's when denial works a charm ;)

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  15. Old Kitty, I have this vision of you with an axe and words scattering in fear...

    Cleveland, hehe I miss words all the time. I claim it's because I can think faster than I type... not sure anyone believes me though ;)

    Demitria, ha! It's such a cool sign. I have sooo many photos taken along that gorgeous road.

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  16. Bish, hehe. I hope they don't hold you back :)

    Raquel, I laughed out loud with your midget sentence. So funny. And so easy to do.

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  17. I can't even tell you how many of those I've found. And STILL find, about six revisions later. How do those nasty things escape our notice?

    I guess that's what crit groups are for. :)

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  18. Shallee, I'm convinced we are often blind to our own writing because we are reading not only the words we've written on the page, but the words that have stayed in our brains.

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  19. I know I have! Can't think of a written example at the moment, but yesterday I asked a woman if she "got all digged out" and realized if I told her I was a writer she would probably wet herself laughing...*facepalm*

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  20. Well, everyone has the occasional bad sentence. It happens to us all and that's why we have the delete button. I don't look at those moments as something to make me question my abilities as a writer, only as in indication that I'm tired or stressed and need to stop writing for the day. Then I pick it up from the next day and carry on.

    Jai

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  21. Definitely, and I usually laugh...unless it's in the first 5-10 pages that I just sent an agent :)

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  22. Sigh. Convolution is my middle name. Or used to be. I'm TRYING to reform myself as it really does make for less editing...

    And hi from a fellow Crusader!

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  23. I've written similar bombs. I think I do it when my mind is stuttering over what comes next.

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  24. Doing line edits over the weekend I found "the blood in my body ran cold."

    As opposed to the blood....elsewhere?

    I have no idea how many drafts it sat through, either.

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  25. I figure if you've never experienced stupid mistakes in writing it probably means we haven't been writing long enough.

    I think that gives away my answer. I've made more than one whopper in my writing career and I've only just begun, lol.

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  26. My rough drafts are filled with beauties like that - that's what revisions are for. I find a lot of "she heard the wind howl" instead of just "the wind howled"

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  27. I am a new follower but I can jump right on board here - I once wrote a sentence with 8 commas in it! Fortunately, I edited before it hit anyone else's eyes... whew... :)

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  28. Love it! Yep I write horrible sentences all the time. I think this is when we tell ourselves that at least we notice them for their horribleness, and have the ability to fix them ;).

    Fellow crusader here by the way.

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  29. I haven't looked yet, but I'm sure they are in there lurking. ;)

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  30. Ooh yuppers.. alll the time! I always read them over and say to myself... "what was I tHINKing?"

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  31. Sounds familiar, I may have plagiarised that sentence at some time in which point I did it (see, me too!). I do that all the time, sometimes I start a sentence and just keep going with it until I realise what I wanted to say. That becomes edit girl's problem, I'm writer girl. Oh, wait, I'm also edit girl - darn it.

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  32. I know the feeling, writing a crappy sentence and reading it later. I always think "How the heck did I come up with that?" LOL Happy to meet you fellow crusader! :D Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  33. My first drafts are always littered with clunky, cliches. I have to go backward, forward, and almost stand on my head to find and clean up all the junk. Of course my crit partners are always amazing too.

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  34. Colene, I make a mess of my speaking language all the time. It can be embarrassing ;)

    Jai, yay for the delete button.

    Jess, lol! Let's hope THAT never happens.

    Adina, for sure! Lets do everything we can so we don't need to edit as much

    Susan, ah, the stuttering mind...I thee well.

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  35. Chelsey, haahaha so amusing! And don't you love it when those sentences hide?

    Jen, oh yes, I expect the whoppers to continue. As long as I can catch them, it's all good.

    Dangerous, welcome! I'm impressed by 8 commas.

    Sari, ah, my fellow crusader, let's go on a mission to fix all the horribleness from our sentences.

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  36. Kari, they do lurk.

    WritingNut, hahaa yep, I've asked myself that on many occasions.

    Charmaine, hahah yep, there's no separating writer girl from edit girl. Shame.

    Chantele, may the crusade bring war to crappy sentences. ;)

    Melissa, I'm familiar with the editing acrobatics. It can make us dizzy some times ;)

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  37. I do this all the time. Sometimes I have to reread and it several times and then think, "What in the world was I thinking?" Eeep!!

    *waves hello to fellow crusader*

    ♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

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  38. If it makes you feel better, I do it all the time...I'm pathetic when it comes to getting it right the first time...

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  39. Greetings from a fellow crusader. Great quote - mind you, I try to write without editing as I go and then come back to do editing passes later. I write much more quickly that way, and the flow is better, but I definitely end up with some howlers to fix :-)

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  40. One of my legion of bad sentences: "The sun bleached the colours from passers by, and parked cars."
    Who knew the sun has a driving licence?

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  41. Ha, that's great. And it's amazing how we don't even notice for a while! Oh yeah...I do this all the time. some I catch, some my lovely CPs catch. :D

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  42. Every day! No way am I sharing my whoppers, but rest assured... they're brutal!

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  43. I have written some huge whoppers that make me cringe with embarassment. I don't remember, else I would have loved to share them. They would be good for few laughs.

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  44. Um, YES. Daily. Hourly. Constantly.

    :)

    Hugs,
    Lola

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  45. omg, Lyn, I write stuff like that all. tha. time... but you're right. The first time through, you're sorting out the info, just getting it down, catching the inspiration. Revision's the time for cleaning.

    just keep writing~ :o) <3

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  46. Funny! Yes, we've all done that. Silly how it makes perfect sense at the time...

    I'm a fellow crusader and new follower. Nice to meet you.

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  47. Elizabeth, yep, I think my brain goes on holiday ;)

    Caterpillar, hehe, it's a good thing we don't have to get it right first time :)

    Tony, greetings fellow crusader. That's the best way to do it for sure.

    Gary, you made me laugh out loud.

    Carol, I don't know how I survived without a CP for so long :)

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  48. Talli, hehe I don't blame you ;)

    Rachna, we have to laugh or else we'd cry ;)

    Lola, yes, that sounds familiar. Hugs

    LTM, love that motto! Just keep writing! :)

    Margo, Hey there. Long time no see. I'm an old follower of yours. You even gave me the "From Me To You" Award last year some time. Yay for the crusade for bringing us back together again.

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  49. Lynda, I don't know what you're talking about. That sentence is great.

    #sarcasmovernow

    No, nothing is ever perfect the first time around. But if it were easy, everyone would do it, right?

    Good luck with your work!

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  50. welcome crazy-crusader!
    Just popping my head in... love your opening blog!

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  51. Of course I haven't. I'm perfect lol.

    Denise:)

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  52. Hello, fellow Crusader!

    I blame most of my "What the?!" sentences on being a lousy typer, but I've crafted some so bad that I couldn't even tell what it was I meant to say in the first place.


    Dan

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  53. Hi Lynda. Fellow crusader here. Looks like we're in the same group.

    I've written way too many sentences like the one in your example, and many far worse I'm afraid. I usually get a good laugh when I find them, and think - Holy Cow - Seriously?! Seriously... :)

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  54. YES! I've written some real doozies. I don't edit as I write the first draft, so I notice the ugliness on the first read through. Heck, even if I know the sentence is a dud in the first draft I'll make notes to myself like (fix this). You are NOT alone in this!

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  55. Actually, I kind of like that sentence with the dot, dot, dots, could be a neat opener:)

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  56. I am a believer that fingers have a mind of their own. They type what they want to sometimes and your eyes read what they thought the fingers typed. It may take a couple of readings in order for your brain to register that the fingers are not cooperating.

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  57. Sadly, I think I've written that exact line. I make those mistakes a lot.

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  58. I can't imagine anyone's ever written something worse than what you did-- just kidding! I know I have but I can't recall any specific examples offhand.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  59. Yes - all the time.

    But imagine you didn't notice it was bad? That's the difference between clueless and normal editing.

    We're in the same crusader group!

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  60. I resmble that sentence sometimes. ; )

    I'm in your group at the Crusade and wanted to drop by and say hello. See you around.

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  61. Rosie, yeah I secretly thought it was great too ;)

    Wanitajump, hi fellow crusader :)

    L'Aussie, I suspected it was true

    Dan, typing is the bane... my fingers trip along the keys and make a mess.

    CherylAnne, yay! welcome crusader!

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  62. Julie, my notes a giant pink question marks and underlines. Can't miss that!

    Mark, lol. Thanks :P

    Helen, yes! yes exactly!

    Clarissa, hehehe.

    Arlee, lol :P

    Theresa, oh cool we're in the same group! Yeah, I'm kinda glad I recognised the bad sentence too ;)

    Zan, welcome! yay for the crusaders

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  63. Hehe, well I had this classic excerpt from my MG novel, but it was sort of intentionally bad (this was a NaNo novel, and a very rough first draft - and this novel wasn't planned out in any way, shape or form - and all of that really shows in this):

    “Rodi’s out and about again, eh?” Missy muttered, though of course he knew about Rodentia already. Or at least, he wanted R Diddy to think he did. And he believed that by pretending he hadn’t known, R Diddy would decide that he had. Even though he hadn’t. The fact was, Missy was not gonna let R Diddy get the upper hand on him, no siree! So Missy continued to fake maintaining the illusion of pretending innocence.

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  64. That's really really funny because I have absolutely never written a flawdulated scent ants of any sort watt so ever and i have always had the sort of perfect grammer and structure that makes birds sing in the sixty mile per hour wind while hitching a ride on a north bound semi with Ac/dc playing loudly in the background at heart thummping tempest. grin - well maybe ..... i....could use.....a little....tiny bit....of reworking....

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  65. Trisha, lol yeah, much of my first draft reads like that. It's a good thing we can edit ;)

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