All writers have language patterns that they fall into, and this week I discovered a few of mine. The knowledge crept up to me. At first it was almost funny.
“Self,” I said, “why on Earth did you use that phrase again?”
But then that same phrase appeared again, and again, and again until I swore that I would strike it from my vocabulary. Then I noticed an adjective that popped up a little to often. Then a particular character description that I really only needed to use once if I used it at all.
Though I didn’t plan for it to be this way, I ended up spending most of this week eliminating that repetitive language and those descriptive ticks. (I may also have cheated on my main manuscript by adding a little to my secondary one. Don’t tell.)
I always forget that there are words, phrases, ideas that I repeat more than I should. Then I go back and read a hundred pages and am reminded. Though I appreciate being aware of them, my preferred words change depending on what piece I am writing. I suppose that makes sense – different themes dig different groves in the brain – but it also mean that I can’t keep a simple list of words not to use. Instead I have to keep returning to interrogate my own writing.
But sometimes a little interrogation is a good thing.
Regardless, I hope you have a lovely weekend and that your own favorite phrases aren’t haunting you too terribly!