Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tip O'Day #46

Guest blogger Michelle Horst advises avoiding repetition.

"I always tell people not to abuse these words; and, but, that, just, and then Use a thesaurus and improvise. Never use the same word twice in one paragraph to express a feeling or describe a person like beautiful; rather move on to gorgeous or stunning. For but there are quite a few options.

"Always try to improvise."

Dixon says: Nice tip, Michelle. This is another reason to join a critique group or find a writing partner to review your prose. We all have words we overuse, but we're usually blind to them. Myself, I use the heck out of just and find that 99% of the time, I can cut it without losing the meaning I intended. In other writers, I often notice then and suddenly cropping up in nearly every paragraph. In storytelling, each action or observation naturally follows another, so then and suddenly are unnecessary signposts.

By the way, why isn't there another word that means the same thing as thesaurus?

1 comment:

  1. Hey Dixon!
    I agree with both you and Michelle. And that is why I love my thesaurus and do not agree with Stephen King's quote about never using one!
    (My blog this week is about thesaurus use and after seeing a few of my comments, I am happy to announce there are others who also agree with us!)

    Sharon :)