Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
One of the most important things we can do when editing our work, is checking for repetitions.
Repetition in writing is using the same words and phrases over and over again either on the same page, or scattered throughout a manuscript.
My personal favourite is the word 'that' as in, 'She knew that he was coming for her' rather than, 'She knew he was coming for her.' If you check your work you'll find that most instances of this word are totally unnecessary and can be eliminated. (Did anyone notice I sneakily slipped one in there?)
Other common repetitions are use of the words 'he', 'she' and the names of story characters, especially at the beginning of a sentence.
Once you've got rid of these obvious ones, take a look at some of your own particular pet phrases. I once noticed I had written 'she turned' and 'she nodded' several times on one page of a story until I weeded them out.
Repetitions can also sneak in when writing descriptions - be warned!
It is very easy to check for known repetitions by simply clicking 'Edit' then 'Find' in Word. It's quite scary seeing all those 'he', 'she' or 'that' words highlighted in yellow, but at least now you can change or cut some of them.
What I'd like to know is what your own often repeated words or phrases are... we could make a list.