Okay, that was just to get your attention. ^_^ Let’s talk about any kind of gestures, rude or otherwise, in our manuscripts.
I just finished a slash and burn edit of my current ms, and I couldn’t believe the nodding, head shaking, waving and so on! So many gestures that it seemed like my characters were struck with constant spasms. I know why I was doing it. I was trying to cut down on dialogue tags, but there were entirely too many gestures of the same type. In just one conversation, everyone involved had to nod at least once if not two or three times, and I got to thinking, do people nod that much during real conversations? Even if they do, of course, it doesn’t necessarily make good reading.
I left a few gestures, still mostly as replacements for dialogue tags, or otherwise people would have seemed as stiff as they had twitchy. But now I’m paranoid, thinking of doing a search for nod and seeing how close together they fall. Ah paranoia, it’s one of the last stages of editing, right before grief, fake apathy and then eventual contentment.
And editing is like every other part in writing in that I love it to start with and begin to hate it toward the end, when even the most beloved novel can start to look like a steaming pile.
*waves a languid hand* So, dahlings, do you have to cut gestures out of your manuscripts? And does the cutting of anything that seems so obvious during your edits make you want to pull your hair out?
If you think you have repetitive character nodding syndrome (RCNS) contact your editor immediately. Side effects may include headache, nausea and uncontrollable screaming at your manuscript to Just Get In Shape Already!