The Evil "Was"

Well, another publisher was heard from. L&L Dreamspell emailed me today saying they’re passing for now on Forever Home. One reason was my overuse of the sentence weakening “was”. And I thought I was a “that” queen. Guess I’m now a “was” queen.

The other reason was that the storyline wasn’t unique enough. Too many stories that are similar out there at the moment.

So, here I sit and wonder what to do with the evil “was”es. (was’s? wuzzes?) If I take a sentence: “Galloping across the prairie was the way she wanted to live her life.” how do I get rid of that annoying evil little “was”? Oh, I’m sure there are plenty of ways to do it and when I sit down and really go over this manuscript with a fine toothed comb I’ll come up with ways to fix them. I’ll get right on that tomorrow, even if means sacraficing some “new” writing time.

And then the next question popped into my head: Are the rest of my manuscripts just as overused? Have the storylines been done to death? How can I make them so unique editors are going to be clamoring all over me to be the first to get that fantastic fresh idea. And is there such a thing as “fresh ideas” out there?

So, it’s time for me to take stock of what I have, what I’m doing. No, I’m not going to bail on the writing business. Absolutely not. This is a challenge to me, figuring my way around this.

I really have to thank the editor at L&L Dreamspell for letting me know just why she wasn’t requesting a full on this book. It’s probably the biggest help of all. Because without the feedback how can an author grow and improve?

Oh, and I just sent out a query to Avon for Forever Home. So I best get my fingers going on the keyboard and do battle with the Evil Wuzzes.


6 thoughts on “The Evil "Was"

  1. I'm glad you got a query letter off to Avon – good luck! You're right, it is helpful the L & L Dreamspell editor wrote you a personal rejection letter instead of a form letter. I'm sure you'll find the right fit for Forever Home soon.

  2. If you use Microsoft Word there is a setting in the grammar checker that looks for "passive voice" sentences.It will underline your "was" and "been" sentences so you don't have to search.Denise

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