Marji Laine: Faith~Driven Fiction

. . . Authentic and Intense

Writer’s Tip: Polishing


Dark Red ToenailsI don’t do it often, but once in a while, I treat myself to a manicure or a pedicure. Just the sight of my elegant fingernails or sassy toenails makes me beam. It’s ridiculously inconsequential when taking in the broad scope of life, but it makes me feel so much better.
Adequate. More equipped to meet the task I must face and conquer that puppy.

You better believe I’ll be sporting a new mani/pedi before ACFW conference next fall and homeschool prom this spring! Oh yeah!

It’s the same thing with my manuscript. I know I’ve mentioned some of these tips before, but they are a timely reminder for me! This isn’t the revision part of my project – the rewriting that takes my draft and puts it in a completed story form. I’ve finished major rewrites, but now I’m on a word hunt for any extra faux pas that I can fix.

First, I look for verb choices. I do a FIND action in Word and look for all of my wases and weres. Some of them need to stay, but I go through all of them to see if an alternative is better. I do the same thing with couldshould, and would.

Next, a search for my pet words comes up. Mine are at least, and just. But I’m also guilty of repeating great words too quickly. It’s not that they’re pets. They got into my head and got used again to close to where they had been used before. That’s a hard one because I don’t know what word they are. It and that are search subjects, too. If I can eliminate them entirely, I do.

I don’t stop with that polish, though. Checking out the beginnings of my paragraphs and my sentences to look for too much repetition is essential.

Finally, I check the endings of my sentences and especially my paragraphs to make sure I ended on strong words. Ideally, the strongest of the sentence.

So I’m putting on the final clear coats and giving Cat’s Eyes a quick buff before placing it on my shelf. No, I’m not done with it. This one’s good. It will be on a real shelf some day. But now it needs a brother or a sister to join it! 🙂

Your Turn: What are some of the key ways you polish?


Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a recently "graduated" homeschooling mom whose twin girls have blessed her by sticking around the nest for a little longer. She spends her days directing the children’s music program at her church and working with the authors of Write Integrity Press to put out the best possible version of their books. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

3 thoughts on “Writer’s Tip: Polishing

  1. "Finally, I check the endings of my sentences and especially my paragraphs to make sure I ended on strong words. Ideally, the strongest of the sentence." Excellent advice — I'm going to make that my goal for my next post. Thanks. dc


  2. I find polishing a story to be quite rewarding. It's such fun to watch it get better before my eyes.I wish you all the best, Marji, and you apply those final coats of polish to your manuscript.