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RobertHildenbrand
Posted: Saturday, September 6, 2014 11:39:31 AM
RobertHildenbrand
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Joined: 2/11/2013
Posts: 14
Excluding said, or other invisible tags. Does anyone know a good resource to read about the repetition of words in a story? Case in point, my 64,000 word novel (in progress) has the word glanced written in it 508 times. I am reducing the number of repetitions in which this word is used, but I would love to know of research or resources which cover the average repetition of words and what would be considered acceptable.

gypsy
Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014 12:08:07 PM
gypsy
Rank: Forum Facilitator

Joined: 10/13/2010
Posts: 1,943
RobertHildenbrand wrote:
Excluding said, or other invisible tags. Does anyone know a good resource to read about the repetition of words in a story? Case in point, my 64,000 word novel (in progress) has the word glanced written in it 508 times. I am reducing the number of repetitions in which this word is used, but I would love to know of research or resources which cover the average repetition of words and what would be considered acceptable.



I have no idea if there are any resources or guidelines that might help.

For me, repetition of words is a major pitfall and to be avoided ruthlessly. Consequently, it is usually up to me to weed those repetitions out, and I do it to the best of my ability. I'm as prone to it as anyone else might be, and it irritates me to no end!

The problem is that being your own proofreader is highly challenging and difficult, so good for you to have outed the 508 uses of the word "glanced" in your text. You're on the right path to being vigilant about word repetition, and trying to avoid it.







The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. Junius



RobertHildenbrand
Posted: Friday, September 12, 2014 5:11:05 PM
RobertHildenbrand
Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 2/11/2013
Posts: 14
gypsy wrote:
RobertHildenbrand wrote:
Excluding said, or other invisible tags. Does anyone know a good resource to read about the repetition of words in a story? Case in point, my 64,000 word novel (in progress) has the word glanced written in it 508 times. I am reducing the number of repetitions in which this word is used, but I would love to know of research or resources which cover the average repetition of words and what would be considered acceptable.



I have no idea if there are any resources or guidelines that might help.

For me, repetition of words is a major pitfall and to be avoided ruthlessly. Consequently, it is usually up to me to weed those repetitions out, and I do it to the best of my ability. I'm as prone to it as anyone else might be, and it irritates me to no end!

The problem is that being your own proofreader is highly challenging and difficult, so good for you to have outed the 508 uses of the word "glanced" in your text. You're on the right path to being vigilant about word repetition, and trying to avoid it.






Thanks, I try. :-)

That said, I also try and make my reader become emotionally invested into my characters whom they are going to follow. So facial movements, and tells are very important to me. However writing so many of them, can become redundant, especially if I use the same ones too often. I am also fond of not telling my reader a characters name, but rather want someone else, a badge, name tag, or other means to label the character. Even my character reading a text message can work to do this, as we would have the name of one character whom the focus character is talking with, and that other person may speak or text the focus character's (we are following) name in the message. I had originally written only a page before I had character B introduce herself to character A... That page expanded into almost five pages and so I had to name her. A test from mom, helped with that. :-)
Circle_Something
Posted: Monday, September 15, 2014 6:17:28 PM
Circle_Something
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Joined: 8/11/2012
Posts: 1,965
Location: Glasgow-ish
I don't like to repeat words, because then it becomes repetitive, and when it becomes repetitive, you repeat yourself and then people repetitively lose interest, so don't repeatedly repeat yourself, unless you're practising to be an echo chamber, a TV channel, or someone with a stutter, I repeat, a stutter. I've actually nothing constructive to add, so feel free to kick my arse for this repetitive, redundant and silly post.

Reading this back, though, I can't help but think it does make a point, in a rather roundabout way. I think if you get bored reading what you've just written, getting out the magnifying glass and checking for repetition is a good idea. I personally don't use one, but a thesaurus might come in handy.

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AvrgBlkGrl
Posted: Friday, November 14, 2014 4:15:41 PM
AvrgBlkGrl
Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/17/2014
Posts: 84
Location: In the window seat, United States
The key thing is that you noticed and that means that your reader most likely notices as well. Sometimes repetition can act as a functioning part of the story. For example, the title of one of my short stories is "Want". I use the word want often, it has a key function in the story itself. I use it to benefit the story. Still, I had to be careful to not over use it. It had to be necessary. If repetition has no function within your story then you need to avoid it. Vary your word usage, show instead of tell. This is where creativity comes into play--how to say the same thing a different way. But first, make sure that saying the same thing is necessary in the first place.

One of my favorite writers, Toni Morrison, says that she constantly shaves off wordage. If she can remove something and it does not change the story, then it was not necessary. Every word should have a necessity to it. It should be there because it is needed. I try to remember that when I am writing pros but especially when writing poetry.

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redhunter13
Posted: Sunday, May 17, 2015 4:49:08 AM
redhunter13
Rank: Rookie Scribe

Joined: 5/14/2015
Posts: 1
Location: Mentone, United States
Find alterative words for glancing. The best way to do this is use a Thesaurus.
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