I stumbled (via Jody Hedlund and the Steve Laube Agency) across a cool tool that will help me weed out those repeat phrases, the ones I like to weed out if I can. (Ok, that was almost painful to type.)
The phrases you would repeat in reality tend to sprinkle through your MS, like hiccups that you never notice. As with Ninja Wordle Skills, the WriteWords Phrase Frequency Counter will help improve your writing, in this case by identifying two or more repeated words in your manuscript.
The two-word option wasn’t very useful, because saying “for you” fourteen times in your manuscript isn’t exactly cause for alarm. However, fourteen instances of “deep breath” probably are (we’re not in final draft form yet, so I’m not panicking. But still. Ugh.)
The three-word option was a little more handy. Thirty phrases of “I wanted to” (along with 18 “I didn’t want’s”) is probably an indication of some flabby prose, and ten instances of “like everyone else” is a bit startling, because I wouldn’t have guessed that was anywhere in the whole story.
Four, Five, and Six Words
This is where it gets interesting. “The back of my throat” gets used way too often, and a truck shouldn’t “lurch to a stop” more than once or twice in a story. I’m pretty sure that’s a rule. But overall, I was surprised there weren’t too many awful “hiccups” in my prose. Maybe the Ninja Wordle Skillz have taken hold.
What wacky repeats do you have in your MS?
p.s. Happy Weekend!