In one way, shape or form, every writer has a love affair with words. Something magical happens when the “perfect” sentence comes together. When you get it right. As readers, you’ll experience this moment every time a line or a passage makes you pause as you smile, shudder or quiver…as the case may be. I guarantee the writer felt the same emotion as it was written.
It seems so simple, this combining of words to create meaning, invoke emotion or set a scene. It’s not, but that’s not what this post is about.
In every manuscript I write, I find that one word. The bane of my existence (at least while I’m writing that particular manuscript), the dreaded repeat, that one damn word that I use over and over and over and over and over and over and…
It changes with each manuscript. As if I’ve worn the word out, exorcised it from my consciousness. One can only hope. It’s usually an insignificant word like “as” or “like” or “just.” Words like those become VERY significant when used ad nauseam. As a writer, it’s my job to pay attention (during first edits, of course) to these things and try to keep the balance between necessary and damn annoying.
At RomCon a few weeks ago, several other authors, such as Lauren Dane and Sylvia Day, admitted to the same affliction. So, I’m in good company.
The road to finished manuscript is a long, winding, bumpy, word-repeating road. But the destination…ahhhh…it’s pure bliss.
Writers, what are your words?
Readers, do you notice when words are repeated (and repeated) in a book?
Since I’m currently on a writing retreat and need to spend some “quality” time alone with Caleb, I will sign off with this: Mark Twain once wrote “…the difference between the right word and the almost right word is really a large matter – ’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.”
Damn straight, Mr. Twain.
Until next time…