Hey, a post that's actually about writing! Or something close to it, anyway. Though I haven't actually written anything lately, I did just finish the first round of edits on Seductive Suspect.
When doing my own proofing/editing before submitting a manuscript, I have my list of words I check for to make sure I haven't overused them. I've discussed "that" here before, and even though I've gotten better, it still sneaks in every now and then. The list grows because lately it seems that with every book I write, a new word gets overused. Granted, every editor has his or her own words that bug them with overuse, and what stands out to one may not stand out to another. Most of the time, though, I find myself agreeing with the words they pick out and check for them in the future.
The overused word for Flight of the Dragon Queen was "just". Like "that", it's often unnecessary, almost like superfluous adverbs. For Out of Orbit, it was "look". That got a little trickier, because to me, repetitive use of words like "stare" and "gaze" stand out more. I did try to mix it up more in that book, and "look" is now on the list.
So what's THE word for Seductive Suspect? "Make/made/making". As always, it can be hard to notice something until someone else comes along and highlights it. Like, literally highlights it. And then I see how many times it came up in a short span and say UGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH how did I not catch that earlier?
Like I said earlier, it's possible that "make/made/making" is just this editor's pet word. Since I already have enough on my plate, I'm not going to go back to previous works and see how often it popped up. However, it came up SO much in Seductive Suspect, it's probably going on the list. And I'm sure it'll be joined by something else next time around.
"That" count (aside from the times I used it to illustrate a point and put it in quotes): 7
"Just" count (same stipulation): 2
"Overuse" count (ironically): 4
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