1. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Pet words / expressions when writing

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by OurJud, Sep 20, 2015.

    ... as in words and expression you find yourself automatically drawn to when the situation arises in your writing.

    I have to be very concious when talking about a character 'picking' up an item, as I am automatically drawn to the word 'grabbed'. 'He grabbed this, he grabbed that...' always 'grabbed'.

    The other one is 'drained'. My character never 'empties' his glass of whatever, or simply 'drinks' it... he always 'drains his glass'.

    I'm sure there's other, which worryingly I'm yet to notice.
     
  2. Christine Ralston

    Christine Ralston Active Member

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    We all have pet words. It takes diligence and a lot of revising to eliminate redundancies from your writing. The first step is in recognizing the problem, which you have...just keep working at it.
     
  3. xanadu

    xanadu Contributor Contributor

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    I don't know if I have any particular words or phrases, but I do tend to use micromanaging of actions as a crutch. Lots of blinking, sighing, nodding, smirking, etc etc etc throughout dialog. Lots of turning and looking and reaching out and stuff. Sometimes my fiction can look a bit like stage directions. The downside of this is that, with so many useless actions, the important ones get buried under the tedium. The good news is that I've gotten much better at spotting this in my editing, which means I'm getting better at not writing it in the first place.
     
  4. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    I prefer grabbed to picked up/took/etc. I'm aware of it in my writing but I usually make a conscious decision to keep it. To me, it's a stronger and more visual word.

    I also, like @xanadu, have a bad habit of writing where people are looking. I keep it in where the looking conveys something - like if a character looks down when they answer, good way to show they're lying - otherwise I take it out.
     
  5. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Ha! :-D I have to go through my MS occasionally and delete/replace occurrences of the word paradigm. It's been pointed out to me that I have a thing for this word. :whistle:
     
  6. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Sometime around...

    'We arrived at the hotel sometime around six...'

    'It was sometime around three before I finally realised he wasn't going to turn up...'
     
  7. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Banned Contributor

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    Mine is a noun: amber. I seem to use it, almost habitually, when describing fires or the amber morning sky.
     
  8. Woof

    Woof Senior Member

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    Just going through my MS after a break and finding I've used 'make-shift' to describe something on almost every other page. Lazy lazy me :rolleyes:
     
  9. ADreamer

    ADreamer Banned Sock-Puppet

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    Mine is more a quirk. I can use American slang and British slang interchangeably - comes from living in the UK and from British parents - and I will oftentimes use one version through half a chapter than the other version throughout the rest of the book. Armored / armoured - gray / grey - cash register / till .... that sort of thing. Gets very annoying.
     

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