Reptitive Words

Every writer has, at some point, discovered a word or phrase they use often. For me, it’s for a moment, in a moment, after a while, and various other forms of the same theme. Then there’s the word smile. I’m currently revising a YA manuscript and I’m trying to cut down on the occurrence of smile, smiled, and smiling. The Find feature in Microsoft Word is my best friend. I search for smil, then highlight every place a form of smile appears. In one twelve-page chapter, I highlight twenty-five instances. Twenty-five! Talk about over usage. The good news is that I recognize it as a problem, and I’m taking steps to correct it. The bad news is that I still have a long way to go before the bad habit of repetitive word usage is broken. Every time I think I’ve done it, I start seeing a trend in my word choice that leaves me cringing. Someday, I hope to get past repeating the same word over and over and over. Until then, I’ll get plenty of practice at rewriting the repetitive bits.

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