It happens. We all do it. You get a favourite phrase or word and before you know it your MS is full of it. Mine when I first wrote The Arrival were grin, smile, neat and lots others *lol*. Those all being words I tend to use (or things I do) constantly. So how do you avoid ending up with those words that in the long run make your readers grit their teeth in annoyance..
There’s lots of ways! Obviously a thesaurus is helpful but you do want to be careful that your readers don’t need to use the dictionary when reading your work. It can be rather distracting – not that I’m suggesting you can’t use unusual or challenging words but too many and a reader might get frustrated. Another favourite method of mine is to write down lines I think are clever when I’m reading. NOT for direct copying, (plagiarism is EVIL!) But I do find reading how someone else phrases something quite inspiring for my own work. Which is why reading a broad range of genres (even non-fiction) can be so helpful to a writer.
The other thing I do is Google words to see what search results they bring up. Some are VERY blush worthy *lol*, others are completely useless but the odd gem turns up. And then when you’re really stuck there’s an awesome site called Descriptive Words.
All these things also help me when I’m struck with writers block. Surprisingly enough I find reality T.V shows can help too.
So what’s the word or phrase you catch yourself repeating? And how do you work through this?
Take care all!
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