I bet I could guess your favorite word. I’m not psychic, but if you’re like many writers, I could figure it out.
When I combed through my first manuscript looking for my most-used word, it became clear after just a few pages. And there it is. Did you see that cute hunky nugget? Just.
Oh just, how do I love thee? Let me count the times I write thy name.
If just were a man, I’d cook him dinner, text him 20 times a day, stalk him, stand outside his apartment, and beg him to let me have his baby. That’s how many times I write just in my stories.
I read a novel—the first in a series—by a writer who had her work turned into a cable movie series.
The story was intriguing, but this word kept popping up: sardonically. After one, two, three times, I didn’t pay much attention. But then it kept jumping up and poking me in the eye. Halfway through the book, I yelled “For the love of God, get a thesaurus!” Or delete a few. Or rewrite to show, not tell.
But I kept reading. It was an interesting story … and the author is a bajillionaire, after all. And I am, well, not.
Maybe you don’t care if you use the same word over and over. Maybe you have such a compelling story, you think it doesn’t matter. But I implore you, if you have any compassion at all, or feel any kinship with readers, for the love of all things biblio- and bookish, please get a thesaurus.
Or take your favorite word and get a room.
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