Friday, August 19, 2011

Repetitious Writing

Today as I was editing my story with my mom, we discovered a few interesting things. There are a few types of sentences I like to use throughout the story, some of them are alright and acceptable, but others... well, they just aren't.

The Good Repetition:
I like to use the reoccurring theme of 'light and dark'. Not light against dark, but the two of them together. This plays a big part in the story which is nice because that sort of thing is easier to weave into descriptive language. Making a lot of descriptive language foreshadowing.

The Bad Repetition:
Now, I'm pretty sure I've got a lot more 'bad' repetition than 'good', but here I go anyway. First, I like to use certain words in every paragraph. This is extremely annoying because I'm finding a useless "that" every few minutes. Here's a list of words 'that' I found at least three times in a single paragraph today:

  1. "For a moment"
  2. "That"
  3. "Stunned"
  4. "Just"
  5. (and many more!)
I'm not sure if the two of us got overwhelmed this morning with my repetition, but when we hit a sentence including all four of those words we laughed for five minutes straight (I'm not even kidding). First because of how silly the writing sounded and second because the other person's laugh was too funny not to laugh at!

Are there certain words you find yourself using all the time?

And... it's Friday! So have a great weekend!



Anonymous said...

In my original MS I found well over 100 usages of the word "quickly" so I took out all but a handful. I didn't lose any of the meaning of the text. It actually read much better.

Alyssa said...

I use the word just waaaay to much!

Jess said...

Stephen~ LOL that's exactly my problem! I can't believe my train of thought is so messy when it comes to putting it on paper!

Alyssa~ The word 'just' doesn't want to go away does it?!

Talli Roland said...

'Just' is one of my favourites... ergh! And don't even get me started on all the other phrases I overuse. That's what first drafts are all about, in my opinion.

Mark Noce said...

It's good that you have someone editing your story with you, as it really helps. Light and dark have so many great synonyms to use as well. Cool blog:)

Shiraz Akhtar said...

I often find the word 'but' making an entry in every other sentence no matter how hard I try.

That's the beauty of the first draft, that it never satisfies you and sounds very funny and indiferent to what you originally wanted to conceive. It happens to everybody. The main thing is you're having fun dealing with it. The best part is that you have your mom while editing. It becomes very boring otherwise.

Jess said...

Talli~ I totally agree :D

Mark~ Thanks so much for following!

Shiraz~ I love first drafts... they are so much fun to fix up (especially if you've got someone helping you)!

Francesca Zappia said...

I use the word "seem/seemed" waaaay to much, but I'm also guilty of overusing "quickly" and probably "immediately" and "suddenly", even though as I write them I'm thinking, take this out, take this OUT.

Great post!

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