Just when I begin to think I have the worst of the kinks ironed out of my manuscript, I sigh and find another. I was reviewing the first few chapters for the umpteenth time and got to a point where “Ella sighed and . . .” I thought, didn’t she sigh and do something just a few pages back? Yup, she did. So then I decided to do a find for “sigh.” Yikes.
My characters–primarily Ella–were hyperventilating they sighed so much. And as I went through, I realized that in 85,000+ words, there were maybe 30 times when sighing actually made sense. Lordy, this is a gusty bunch!
I think really exceptional writing isn’t so much the writing that makes you look at it and exclaim over lovely descriptions or well-worded sentences. I think it’s the writing that you don’t notice at all. I hope one day my readers will finish my book and find that it was beautiful and that it touched them. Maybe even that it made them think. And hopefully they won’t have noticed the writing–or the sighing–at all.