My Mistress has been going through her books to edit out her ‘pet words’. I don’t mean words like ‘dog’ and ‘Alfie’ but ones like ‘really’ and ‘only’. It is quite amazing when you see how many times some completely meaningless words can pepper her writing. What is worrying me is that I have learnt most of my writing around her and have probably picked up a number of her figures of speech. If I look back at the paragraph I have written so far I didn’t need to use either ‘completely’ or ‘probably’. It just goes to show how difficult it all is. She was telling me that it is especially (another one) important where you are trying to make all your characters sound different to each other. I could see the point she was making, but don’t think I’ve quite progressed to that level yet.
Purely to improve her writing you understand, my Mistress has been listening into all sorts of conversations recently and two in particular have made her smile. The first one was in the pub when there were some older men supping their pints. The one standing by the fire said. “I told him, he was wrong. It’s March. Definitely March.” To which his friend replied, “April.” And man number one said “Oh, is it April?” She was having a job not to be seen to laugh openly, but it really did make her laugh. The other one is not for the sensitive so if you live in a city and are looking forward to your Christmas leftovers, look away now. There she was on the village Green when one of man turned to another person from our village and asked the classic question, “How’s the turkey slaughter going?” Now that isn’t a question you hear everyday.