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  1. #1
    Malena Venant
    Guest

    Help! : Recurring words

    There are certain words that seem to surface in every other page of my novel and I find them so difficult to replace. I have solved the problem of “suddenly”, but “deep inside” “in fact” and certain time expressions ( “For a second” “for a brief while” “for a minute”) haunt my writing. How could I avoid them?



  2. #2
    gulliver h
    Guest

    Re: Help! : Recurring words

    just get rid of them. They're tics.

    Except for 'deep inside' which seems to beg a joke...

  3. #3
    Andrew London
    Guest

    Re: Help! : Recurring words

    Why don't you post some of the sentences?

    My guess is, that the words can be eliminated/deleted.

    Ex. Suddenly, he jumped out from behind the tree. (you can delete suddenly. Let the reader figure it out and set up the scene accordingly.)

    In fact is never needed.

    And those time expressions should be made more precise, or deleted.

    For a minute, I thought he was Jesus Christ reborn (Delete for a minute -- doesn't add anything to the sentence)

    Suddenly, I got that nauseous feeling deep inside. Infact, for a second I felt like I was going to puke.

    Should be...

    I got nauseous and almost puked.

    Post a couple sentences... let people here help you.

    Good luck. ANDY

  4. #4
    Andrew London
    Guest

    Re: Help! : Recurring words

    Gulliver and I posted our messages at the exact same time and said the exact same thing....

    So, our advice is probably correct

  5. #5
    gulliver h
    Guest

    Re: Help! : Recurring words

    or simultaneously totally off base...

    none of which helps me with 'deep inside'

  6. #6
    Malena Venant
    Guest

    Re: Help! : Recurring words

    Thank you. Rereading my sentences (samples below)I see that I could get rid of the noisome words, bt I still have a problem with "deep inside" (third example). Another expression that gves me rouble is


    For a second he wondered if it was Annie, but as the creature climbed into his bed he felt it large and heavy, not like the petite suicide victim.

    For a second, the men are mystified by the fact that she has spoken, by the restrained anger in her voice, but most of all because the sound that comes from her lips does something to their insides.

    Therefore the toy part was never an accepted fact, yet they pretended otherwise to spare Ettie’s feelings. Deep inside they sensed that the story was really for her. She wanted to think her husband still remembered and cared for her.

  7. #7
    Anthony Ravenscroft
    Guest

    Re: Help! : Recurring words

    I do this myself, & then go back & wipe most of it out after the first draft.

    It's an easy trap to fall into, because the author is, no matter what voice the writing is in, writing as an interested omniscient observer. So, if you don't "ride with tight reins," you'll drift between impartial omniscience (letting the reader make the connections), interested omniscience (telling the reader how to feel, which is annoying in more than small, rare doses), & Chandleresque (not something to be entered into lightly, & should either be used consistently or entirely avoided). Another way to look at it is that you're writing "here's what I want this to look/feel like" notes to yourself.

    And that whole "tight reins" thing will only slow you down, as if you're doing a detailed edit as you're trying to capture fleeting impressions in clunky letters. Though it might add another couple of passes, get (almost) all the words down on paper first, & only then worry about turning your marginalia into what you actually want a reader to see.

    As notes to yourself, there's nothing at all wrong with crapulous verbiage! Just remember that you, as a writer, need to take those odiferous nuggets & turn them into evocative images that can be conveyed (not merely summarised) in written form.

  8. #8
    Robert Raven
    Guest

    Re: Help! : Recurring words

    This problem falls definitely into the "fix it at editing" phase of writing. Don't let it hang up your first draft.
    You have to get nitpicky when editing, anyway, and look at every sentence with a close, cynical eye, for anything that can be cut/changed/made better. Here your word-processor can be your friend. I keep an ever-growing list of words/phrases/-ly adverbs that I over-use or are always pure fluff, and just leaf through the document looking for every occurrence thereof, and changing those I can (which is most of them). The more you do this, the better you'll get at leaving them out in the first place, too.

    RR

  9. #9
    . Bree
    Guest

    Re: Help! : Recurring words

    He wondered if it was Annie, the petite suicide victim, climbing into his bed. But the creature was large and heavy.


    The toy part was never an accepted fact, yet they pretended otherwise to spare Ettie’s feelings. They sensed the story was really for her.

    She wanted to believe her husband still remembered and cared for her.

  10. #10
    Malena Venant
    Guest

    Re: Help! : Recurring words

    It is embarrassing how well the sentences stand without the "odiferous nuggets". I tend to forget that this is only my first draft, and that it will take several editing sessions. Right now, just looking at it makes me sob and feel it is hopeless. I pray that after the editing process is over, it will look much better and promising than it does now.
    Thank you so much for your time, and for your excellent (that applies to all who answered my query) advice.

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