"I say good chap you're repeating yourself! Were you drunk when you wrote this? Poor show!"

“I say good chap you’re repeating yourself! Were you drunk when you wrote this? Poor show!”

Do you repeat phrases without being aware of it? It can have a huge impact on your writing. An eagle eyed reader will not miss the fact that you’ve said the same thing three or four times in a novel, fantastic if you intended it, embarrassing if it was a clever turn of phrase you’ve flogged like the dead horse you rode in on (What?).

A novel, as previously mentioned, is not easy to check over for this kind of thing. Readers however, our dear, dear, readers pick up on things we don’t. One of those things is the over use of phrases. I discovered to my uttermost horror that I had used the phrase ‘seemed to be’ multiple times, it’s a phrase I don’t like. I’m not saying never use it because I refuse to judge and find myself very happy on the fence most the time about anything that remotely courts the possibility of upsetting anyone. That’s why I write fiction folks, my characters can be the bastards I pretend not to be.

This one made me throw up a little. You know when you’re sick in your mouth but not really. Yeah…I know, you didn’t want to think about that…Good news though here’s the thing that made me feel like that. The good people at WriteWords (and they are very good people) have a magical machine, well piece of code, that allows you to torture yourself in an extremely useful way.

What was I saying?

Right, copy your novel text into this little device and you can discover just how repetitive and derivative your writing really is!!

In all seriousness this is an incredibly useful tool and very enlightening, try it, it’s free!! Go on, what’s the worst that could happen…oh…well that’ll clean up.

http://www.writewords.org.uk/phrase_count.asp