Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Beware These Writing Pests!

There are household pests and then...there are writing pests. Here are a few I know very well.

Scenus Repeatus: This animal is known for his excellent camouflage abilities.

Plotus Circulus: Often disguised with whimsey and wit, this creature can trick the writer into believing the plot is moving forward when in reality it's moving in a gigantic circle.

Backstory Dumpus: Although usually inhabiting the beginning of a manuscript, this rouge can also make his home anywhere the plot is lacking in forward motion.

Character Quirkus: A useful animal, although they can tend to overbreed. Control your population.

Namus Familiarus: The writer will know this pest has invaded their manuscript when they discover several characters named with similar-sounding names, or names beginning with the same letter.

Verbus Repeatus: A relation of Scenus Repeatus, this creature forces characters to give the same reactions to situations. A sign of their presence may be many characters smiling, shrugging or opening their eyes widely.

Endus Ubruptus: This trickster burrows into manuscripts of writers eager to wrap up plots using as few words as possible.

Coincidenceus Multiplus: Most often found in the last one third of manuscripts, the presence of this creature can destroy the reality of the manuscript. A close relation to Endus Ubruptus.

Scenus Nonpurposeus: A warm, purring personality; this animal is familiar to many writers who focus more on word counts and less on plot or character development.

Character Perfectus: This preening egomaniac tends to curl around the neck of a protagonist (especially in mysteries). It can be avoided by adding flaws or wrong decisions.

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Elspeth Antonelli is an author and playwright. Her twelve murder mystery games and two plays are available through host-party.com. She has also contributed articles to the European writers' magazine "Elias". Her blog, "It's A Mystery," explores the writing process with a touch of humor. She is on Twitter as @elspethwrites.
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15 comments :

  1. This is great, Elspeth. Love it!

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  2. Perhaps the ultimate fumigation of these pests is nosales bookus.

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  3. Linda; Thanks!

    Christopher; Although that would certainly be a solution, I'm grateful there are other, less drastic ways to clear our manuscripts of these pests.

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  4. What fun. I am on a first-name basis friendship with too many of these creatures. LOL

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  5. Great post, Elspeth. I especially like Plotus Circulus :)

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  6. Maryann; As am I. Sigh.

    jongbibs; Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know you liked the post. I really appreciate it.

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  7. Correctamondus. Each and every one. Fun post!

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  8. Thankus gratefullus: a small smiling creature which purrs and has abnormally long eyelashes.

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  9. I loved these, too! Trying to figure out what I'm suffering from today. Deep suffering. LOL.

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  10. Both amusing and also, sadly, true!

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  11. A lot of these creatures live in my writing too :-(

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  12. Obnoxious creatures, one and all.

    Very cute post Elspeth.

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  13. Loved these! I believe some of these creatures are crawling over my WIP as we speak:)

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  14. This was great - I'm bookmarking it for future reference!

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  15. Lol! I've been encountering a few of these in something I'm editing; I shall abolish them and hope my customer can understand these are pests.

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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