The only time in my life that I didn't get dinged for lack of contractions was while at least one person in the room was shouting, "PUSH!!"
Each and every stinkin round of edits ever to cross my desk has mention of my utter inability to tell a story and include contractions.
Sadly, I don't think in contractions. (I just used one...to prove I CAN use them. I don't like to but I CAN.)
The point? Every writer has a weakness.
Overuse of 'that word'
In my edits, crits, editing other peoples work and in chatting with author friends, I have found that we all tend to find one word that for some reason in our heads just sums up the story wonderfully. It might be juicy. Or smooth. Or slide. Or lubricious.
And for whatever reason, we say it twenty gazillion times.
I don't know why the writerly mind does this. But we do it. And NONE of us realizes we do this. There we are, happily clickity clacking away and overusing the shit out of lubricious and don't realize we have said it twenty times on THIS PAGE ALONE.
Why? Why do we do it?
I don't know. All I can say is thank the gods above for editors, crit partners and the occasional friend who is kind enough to ask both, "Uh, what the hell does lubricious mean?" and "Why the hell do you keep saying it?"
We also may overuse a technique...be it a sentence structure, a dialogue tag or something else. If you get dinged either in crits or in edits for this...author friends, do not shed a tear because I can tell you from my VAST (okay, not vast but pretty damned extensive) research that we all do it.
The same mistake...every effin time
Like my contraction issue. Yeah, some of us are smart enough to correct their mistakes over time.
Some of us just keep doing the same damn thing over and over again. The best I can tell you there is PRAY that your crit readers know your weakness and SEE your weakness and CATCH it before it gets contracted. Otherwise...your editor will and...well, yeah. Then you are me and you just get to beat your head off your desk wondering what the hell is so hard about writing a damn CONTRACTION now and again???
Or whatever your personal weakness is...
Not that contractions would be something that ANYone with a sane and rational mind would NOT use...
Freakin frakking stupid contractions...
I guess my point in this rant is that... we all make mistakes. And when we get our edits back we all beat our heads against our desks... or the handy brick wall...and wonder how in the hell we could have done something so amazingly STUPID.
But, uh, neat point, folks?
If you are doing edits...
You are doing something lots of people NEVER do. Lots of people talk about writing a book. Lots of other people actually go so far as to sit down and write PART of a book.
A few actually get determined enough to finish one.
Out of those few, a few will get the balls to submit it.
And out of those few, only a handful ever get a contract.
So if you are editing and feeling sort of lamers because you made a really stupid mistake...
Uh, you are pretty fucking cool to even have gotten to that point. Go get you some chocolate. Do a little dance. Then get your damn edits done. Cuz you rock, cupcake.
Happy writing. Or in this case, editing.