Repeating words in narrative is lazy, boring writing. The English language is replete with vivid verbs that each have a nuance of note.
In dialogue, though, is it lazy or boring to have characters echo each other? We do that in real life. And what about internal dialogue?
I've posted a snippet from my WIP that elicited feedback this past weekend from my online crit group. (Some were automatically generated by Autocrit.) I have bolded three sets of repetitions (bolded).
Should I find a way to eliminate the repeated words?
This scene features the conspirators. The abducted heroine is locked in the attic.
A vein in Peabody’s neck bulged above his stiff collar. “Miss Hawkins knows you paid me five hundred dollars.”
“Remember the deranged beggar?” He pointed up toward the attic. “He works for your brother-in-law. I haven’t been able to find him, but his testimony would put the noose around your neck.”
Turning her back while she absorbed this information, Candy opened her wardrobe door and fussed with her risqué outfits. Blade had caught her by surprise that day at the bank, but since then she’d played her part perfectly, traipsing through houses and planning his Society wedding.
Blade was usually quite clever, but for some reason he refused to see that his cowgirl fiancée wanted no part of city life. She wanted to go home.
Candy wanted Stormy to go home, too—and never look back.
As for Peabody’s revelation? She’d simply paid him for finding this room. In any other accusation, it was his word against hers. With the Masters’ name behind her, the best lawyers in the state would be on her side. “Has Stormy drunk any tea?”
“A full quart. She was thirsty when she came to.”
“Cripes.” She whirled around and seized his heavy walking stick. “You could have killed her by whacking her in the head. Is her chain fastened tight? Have you done everything else right?”