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Tip Tuesday #66

Tip Tuesday time! Today I have a tip from author Laura Lascarso whose debut YA novel comes out from Antheum in 2012. Congrats Laura! Please visit her website to check out her blog and book! Here's her tip:

Finding the ly's

This is a quick post to share something that I did with my latest manuscript that I found really, really effective. On a friend's recommendation, I did a search for “ly” and brought up all my ugly adverbs. ugLY, My biggest offense was the word “really” which I had one on nearly every page, which I’ve used three times already. Who knew? I also came up with the word “family” a lot, which led me to believe that it was a big theme that I had overlooked before. Next I’m doing “okay” and “like.” Hopefully at the end of it, my manuscript will be cleaner, tighter and stronger for it.

Every little word counts. Really, it does, really, really.

Oh, and one more fun thing to do when you’re trying to procrastinate, check out the Gender Genie, http://bookblog.net/gender/genie.php Basically, you plug in a sampling of your text and the Gender Genie figures out how male or female your narrator is. For instance, I inserted this blog post into the Gender Genie and it gave me a score of 254 Female and 235 Male.

Just as I suspected, I’m a female.

- Laura Lascarso

Love this, Laura! Every word does count. I'm happy to report I (or my narrator, at least) seems to be female as well. : ) Looking forward to seeing your first book on my shelf!


Unknown said...

Thanks for the posting these tips. I have a list of ugly adverbs that I revert back to occasionally. My creative writing instructor gave it to me, and I must say that it has proven to be invaluable. Every little bit helps;)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I hadn't heard of the Gender Genie. What a great tool when writing in gender other than your own.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great tip. I have a list of problem words that I now always check for as I go. Eliminating them really cut too long word count.

Elana Johnson said...

Great tip! I try not to obsess over every single word, but I do. And I guess that's okay. Ha! OKAY.

Jan Markley said...

That is a really good idea! That occurred to me recently to search for adverbs and I'm definitely going to do that before my next manuscript goes to my publisher!

Jonathon Arntson said...

That was fascinating. I tried out two WiPs and both were 75% male. I am quite surprised by that.

Sherrie Petersen said...

Ha! I've done that Gender Genie thing before. It's pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

Gender Genie... I like the idea of trying that out!

Unknown said...

I tried it, and my WIP came out female, which is good, since my MC is female. I tried really hard to sound feminene, so I'm glad that worked.

Unknown said...


Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Thanks for the great tip. Ly words seem to pop out all over the place. I need to do some weeding.

Rane Anderson said...

This is a great reminder! I need to do this, although as a habit, I try to stay away from the LY words as much as possible. Those sneaky creatures find their way in sometimes too often. :-)

Lisa Nowak said...

That Gender Genie is pretty cool.