Writing Tip: Repetitive Words

Hello!

As you may know, most of my writing posts end up on Girls Writing for God’s Glory or The Elven Realm of Writing, two collab blogs I’m part of. Today, though, I decided to share a writing tip on here. Yay! 😀

I’m going to show you a paragraph from Desperate:

“The boy’s eyes widen in surprise. Slowly, he lifts his instrument from the ground. He raises it hesitantly to his lips, his eyes fixed on the kitten in surprise.”

At first glance, do you see anything wrong with this paragraph?

Let’s take another look it:

“The boy’s eyes widen in surprise. Slowly, he lifts his instrument from the ground. He raises it hesitantly to his lips, his eyes fixed on the kitten in surprise.”

Did you notice the issue this time? I used “in surprise” twice in the same paragraph, in a similar way. The repetitive use of the same word always bothers me when I notice it in books, so I try to avoid it in my own writing.

To improve this paragraph, all I need to do it take out “in surprise” and put in something else:

“The boy’s eyes widen in surprise. Slowly, he lifts his instrument from the ground. He raises it hesitantly to his lips, his eyes fixed wonderingly on the kitten.”

Isn’t that so much better? All I did was take out the second “in surprise” and use “wonderingly” instead. It makes the paragraph easier to read, and it adds some variety.

Did this tip help you? Let me know in the comments below!

Have an amazing day. 🙂

Clara

21 thoughts on “Writing Tip: Repetitive Words

  1. Yeah, that is something one must look out for! In fact, before ‘on the kitten’ you probably don’t need an adverb! Because you should already know that the boy has been surprised. That’s just my opinion. 😉

    CutePolarBear

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hello Clara! I’m not sure how following a blog with Blogger works (like, if it notifies you when I add your blog to my Blogger reader), but I wanted to let you know that I removed your blog from my Blogger reader. I’m still following your blog with WordPress and I’ll receive emails whenever you post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh yes, I definitely agree. It interrupts the flow of reading when that happens, and I’m like, wait, didn’t he just say that? Did he mean the same thing? And I have to go back and look it up and then continue reading. Although I guess parallel writing is one exception… Great tip, Clara! You should do a series about this sort of thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, that’s a great way to put it!! I totally agree. 🙂
    Thank you so much, Allison! Ooh, that’s a great idea. 😀

    -Clara ❤

    Like

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