Beware the speed bumps!

by Kay

Overuse of a word, sentence, or phrase is like hitting a speed bump at 90 mph. It hurts. The objective of a good writer is to draw the reader into the story, much like being in a dark theater, but without the nifty lighting. If they are able to pick out and count the word on more than one hand in a single page, you're doing something wrong. (Note: this does not include such words as 'and' and such for the most part, but even they can be overdone)

Ex: Tiffany was like, the most irresponsible girl in the world. Like, she always forgot to do her chores, and like, never did her homework. Her mom was like, so fed up.

The overuse of the word 'like' is akin to nails on a chalkboard for some people, so remember that too much of something is not a good thing.

Comments for Beware the speed bumps!

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Nov 28, 2011
by: Anonymous

It is actually okay if a character says it, like the example quote you used, with the repetition of the word "like" to build character.

Oct 01, 2009
Overusing word and phrases
by: Audrey

I agree!

Only more so.

Repetitions of words and even of unusual sentence constructions don't have to be on the same page or even in the same chapter. Words and phrases ring in the head. It they repeat, the reader becomes distracted.

The best advice I can give a writer to combat this problem is to read the text aloud. As writers, we can ignore repetitions we've created when we just see them, but when we hear them, we do notice.

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