Adding Variety to Your Writing
They say variety is the spice of life. Apply this basic concept to your prose, and you’ll give readers a thrill.
When words or phrases are overused, they lose their zing and weaken writing. Some palate offenders we see frequently are as follows:
If these words add nothing to the meaning of your text—or worse, if they muddle it—throw them out.
Especially watch for repeated words within a sentence or a paragraph. Try reading your piece aloud; your ear will catch repetitions you might have otherwise missed. Or look for available software programs (some even for free) that spot clichés and overused words for you.
Now mix it up, find new ways to describe things, use stronger verbs, and get friendly with your thesaurus.
Finally, reread your work. Bam! Isn’t it much tastier now?
P.S. Check out a previous Editor’s Corner, where we explain how some overused words can distance readers from the POV character.