View Full Version : Repeating yourself in another WIP

The Last Knight
11-28-2008, 02:50 AM
Good evening,

I find myself repeating myself in my WIP as far as general phrases are concerned, for example, he squinted, she groaned, he pulled the trigger, the bullet smashed against the rear bumper, things like that. How does this affect my works, in terms of being repetitive? I mean, there's only a few ways of saying something, so it should be OK, right? However, I still feel I'm kind of cheating the reader and not doing a good job if I'm giving them the same sentences and words.

Has anyone experiences this? What's a solution?


11-28-2008, 02:53 AM
Read more.

But when it comes to short phrases, I think you'll be all right. Some big name authors I could name here (but won't) have their own pet phrases and words, and normally that's fine, as long as you don't repeat yourself too much.

Two-word-phases like 'he squinted' or 'she groaned'; don't worry about them; the reader would hardly notice if you used them in another book. Just limit the amount of times you use them in the one, single project. That's how they draw attention to themselves, I think.

11-28-2008, 03:24 AM
I used to have a problem with one character answering another. I'd start the dialogue, "Well,". In the end I used the 'find' tool to look at every instance of dialogue starting with this word and I deleted most of them. So you could enumerate the problem to see how bad it is and change a few if you think it necessary. Another indication is when you give the story a rest for a few weeks and go back to it, if you've overdone anything it should show up in your first read.

11-28-2008, 03:26 AM
Ah! You have wellitis too?

My manuscripts are also infected by 'so' and 'though'.

11-28-2008, 03:59 AM
I've got a bit of a habbit repeating some words, and have been told that they slow down the pace of the story.

11-28-2008, 06:55 AM
It's a bit of a learning process. I used to repeat myself a lot in my earlier stories, but now I am actively trying to make myself sound more original. If I do repeat myself usually my editors catch onto it fairly quickly. IMO, repeating the plot is something you have to really watch out for more than anything.

Brutal Mustang
11-28-2008, 07:18 AM
I would imagine it would be impossible to be slightly repetitive in your different works, if you are to maintain your style.