Repeating Words Repeating

I just got done revising my current short story! While this is definitely a load off my mind, I noticed a few weird things. Apparently, I do things when I'm writing I have no idea I do. No, I'm not talking about humming Korean love songs or whistling through my teeth.

Patchwork Sentences

The little brother of the run-on sentence, a patchwork sentence simply becomes fragmented with too many commas. It doesn't sound bad but try reading it out loud and you can see what a mess it makes. Simply learn to use your periods, people.


I don't mean stating it is currently one day of the week and then changing it when no actual time has past. No, I mean trickier inconsistency. For instance, I found I had used "towards" one time and "toward" another. Both of these are acceptable according to my research BUT I didn't even look to make sure I had them all the same. If you are going to follow one way, make sure you follow it to the end. **This includes speech patterns in a character.**

Repeating Words

I have a problem with using the same words. I know, I am not the only one but it is still embarrassing. Many writers have trouble with things like glancing and glaring and staring but I find I just repeat in fiction. One of the series of books I like has the word "wry" or its variants so many times it almost distracts me as I ran across them. Don't do this, folks!

Do you have any writing "tics" you do?

There is now a "Poetry Place" tab so you can better find my poems. Some are old and some are new. I thought this might be better for you guys to seek out my work. I will still post links to published stuff in the normal posts!


  1. Jennifer, good article. I am going through this as I edit my novel. Go figure, but in writing I like to start sentences with 'but' 'and' 'yet' 'then' 'so'. Just taking these out, brought my word count down 1,000 words. Over use of commas. Uh oh. You discovered my lazy way. I'm thinking of installing an electric node in my computer, keyed to my common errors. But (zap) I can't figure out how. Nice blog.

  2. Dots. I ... ellipse ... everything to death.

    Dot edit .............penance for me. I allllllso pulllll words out and have to get rid of the extra letters.

  3. I'm too verbose. I only catch that when I do an edit of my work.

  4. DM: That's a lot of words to cut by just searching your problem area. How is it going otherwise with your novel?

    Lynn: I tend to use the dots when I am in a chatroom. I don't know why I do it but it is better than all of the other incorrect stuff I see. LOL

    Michael: I use the word "that" a lot and like to draw things out as well. *Sighs

    One day at a time.

  5. I overuse "that" and "feeling." People used to point my mistakes out to me, but now I'm getting better at doing that myself.

  6. Medeia: I don't think I am going to get rid of my "that" addiction completely. I am OK with not using too many "ly" words so I guess I can't complain too much.

    It's nice seeing new faces around here.