WORD ECHOES word echoes echoes echoes

“You have a new favorite word,” Larry said, looking at me in somber disapproval. Larry’s the godfather of my local crit group, and they’ve been reading my recently completed vampire novel.

Uh-oh. “What’s that?”

“Then.”

Did I use “then” a lot? Nah, surely Larry was imagining things.

So I headed to my new favorite website, The Word Frequency Calculator, and plugged in my entire manuscript, all 92,000 words of it.

Holy word choice, Batman. I used “then” 299 times in my manuscript, and I know enough about writing to realize that, most likely, 298 of them should be axed. I also used “was” 800 times. And used the word “slipped” 26 times, which can’t be good. Lucy, I think we’ve got some editing to do.

Are these new bad habits I’ve picked up? Obsessively, I went back to the Word Frequency Calculator and plugged in my first two books. “Then” appeared 100 times in one and 110 in the other, and in 95,000-word documents, that’s somewhat better, so my fondness for “then” is an escalating problem, apparently.

Visit the calculator–it’s an interesting way to find those pesky word echoes we can’t see in our own work. THEN we can fix them.

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban and paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense, currently living in Auburn, Alabama. Author of the Sentinels of New Orleans series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, and Belle Chasse (Nov 2016). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the upcoming Wilds of the Bayou series (Book 1, Wild Man's Curse) releases April 2016).

3 thoughts on “WORD ECHOES word echoes echoes echoes

  1. You’ll love it! And hate it! I feel the need to go through my whole manuscript again now just to see how I possibly managed to use “around” 215 times. That can’t be good! (And “just” 210 times–ugh.)