Recently, while beta reading a crit partner's story, I was reminded of a practice I picked up early in my writing career, that lingers today. While I sincerely hope I've grown as a writer, some old habits didn't need changing.
What am I talking about? In a word: apple.
Yes, your read that correctly: apple.
"What do apples have to do with writing?" you ask.
Nothing, and everything. But if I send a manuscript to my betas without at least one occurrence still left in the text, well, it might not be my manuscript.
You see, sometimes while writing I need to go back to a previous chapter, do a find and replace, or otherwise leave my current location. Or, I may not have yet decided a name for Lucky's new coworkers.
Enter apple. It's great as a placeholder, as I can do a search on it, and get right back to where I was, or simply replace with the name once it's decided. One of my crit partners has begun to use that word too, and I don't know if I should be elated or sorry that I've taught her my habit.
I'm not sure quite why I chose "apple" for this purpose, but it's not broke, so I don't intend to fix it.
I just have to be careful that I don't hit "replace all" or someone might order a "David" pie at a local restaurant.