Monday, January 16, 2012

Echoes in writing

Find yourself re-using words and phrases too often in your manuscript?

I found this article on my Facebook from Write It SideWays. Boy, did that article have my name written all over it, lol. I didn't know re-using words had a name, but it does. It's called echoes and the name makes a lot of sense. I have to say I'm bad about doing this. Like someone from the article said it may have to do with writing in chunks. But we all do that.

And I do read over what I've written from before, but not several pages back! There are times I do catch that a character has 'strode' a lot, lol, but other times I don't. After reading this I will be keeping an eye on things. *Grin* and seeing how much a character is 'striding' around, lol. Anyway, I thought I'd share this for anyone interested. :)




  1. When I'm first writing a scene, just trying to get it out of my head and onto the page, I often use my "go to" words to describe actions or emotions. They get the job done; the action is out there and the pieces are in place. Then it's time to polish. Part of my polishing is looking for echoes, because echoes are opportunities. They're words where I need to refine what I mean.

  2. Nephy slammed me on that in the VERY first chapter of the very first story I wrote, thank goodness! I'm not always on top of not echoing myself as I write but I am fairly sure that its a rare occurance. Like Talismania, I often catch it in the edits or my beta/editor does if it occurs during a rough draft.

    You know what I can't stand though? Whole passages or parts of a book or series that echo. Diana Gabaldon does it quite a few times when she describes the appearance of a Scotsman in her Outlander series. I loved the description the 1st time but I was annoyed with her lack of originality by the 7th or 8th. I see it quite often in sex scenes that some authors use. I call it the 1-2-3 finger go, lol :P

  3. Just read that--good stuff there! Sounds like another article that "yours truly" needs to pay more attention to...