Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Echoes - the repeat offenders

This week I found a blog which talked about echoes i.e. the words you tend to repeat. I thought I knew mine, but then I looked at the blog author's list of the common echoes, and realised how many of those I use (and over-use!)

If you want to know what they are, here's the link:

The blog also gives a link to word count site, where you can copy and paste a chapter and find out what words you've over-used. I put in my first chapter and  O.M.G. - I was shocked! I never realised how much I use 'thing' , as in anything, something, nothing or plain thing or things. A 'find' on the full ms. in Word highlighted so many of these words. One of my most repeated was 'anything more' which I realise could be condensed (in most cases) to anymore.

Try it on a chapter. Exclude 'the' and 'it' words and put 200 in the 'how many words shall I list' option, and see what comes up!

Debra wrote last week about final edits. At this rate, it will be next year at this time before I finish the final edit of my ms!!! But it's a great exercise in working out alternative ways to say something in order to avoid these 'echoes'.


  1. Oh I cannot wait to use that--although I'm a bit scared. :)

  2. What a great editing tool. I can't wait to try it out. Although at this point I'm no where near the editing stage for my WIP...

  3. Scary, but useful, Jen!

    Debra, I'm going to use it each time I complete a chapter of my next novel. Then I'll see the words I'm overusing, and be more careful with them in later chapters.

  4. This is exciting. I am starting the world building for a series that will pick up parts of old WIP's that I still like. I am sure I have pet words and phrases, and tools like this will improve my chances of getting published.

  5. We all have our pet words and phrases, Ana. I'm aware of a lot of mine - but keep finding others!

  6. Having said all that, my first novels were accepted (back in the 60s) before I had any ms. editing tools, Okay, I cringe at it now (and thankfully it is no longer in print) but maybe it shows that in the end, the story is what really counts, and not all the 'technical' accuracy? It's an interesting point to ponder.