In my last entry I asked what have you learned about writing this year? I was hoping for brilliance among my LJ readers, and per usual was not disappointed. The intellectually incandescent sartorias said:
“When you (meaning me) think you’re done, you’re not. Then you have to go through and search, sentence by sentence, for this grindingly tedious list of goddamn irritating phrases that you use way too much.”
One of the first things I pick up on when reading is how often a phrase, is repeated. It just screams at me. Assuming I get that far I can normally tell you how many times a particular phrase or set of phrases have been used within one or two instances without having consciously counted them.
While most common in dialogue, phrase over repetition is not just a problem in dialogue. A well respected writer most famous for their Mil-SF/Space Opera who’s work I like for example was once ribbed politely by a few fans for using “snorted like a moderately irate boar” or something similar not just once or twice for the same person, but to describe two or three dissimilar people in a book. Granted in tomes the size this individual turns out not everyone is going to catch it, but it looks sloppy when it is caught.