The Repeats

K.M. Allan

If you’ve ever edited a manuscript, you’ll know that it takes many drafts and lots of re-writing to shape said manuscript into a readable book. Amongst those drafts should be a pass that includes finding a word that is repeated so much that you could turn it into a drinking game.

I call these instances The Repeats; a list of words that I know my writing-self likes to cram into sentences, but my editor-self knows shouldn’t be there.

My personal Repeats list includes…

  • Though
  • Realize/Realized
  • Took
  • Stood
  • Surprise/Surprised
  • Doubt

These are the words that flow during a first draft and then survive the rest of the drafts because they’re so ingrained in my writing voice that I don’t even notice them.

When looking at these words amongst others, it’s easy to think that they’ve been used sparingly, but with a Repeats draft added during the revision process, it’s plain…

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