How many times can you write a word?

Amazingly a lot. I’m editing and adding a subplot to my manuscript. One of the things I’ve recently learned about was running a program to check for repetitious words–as if writing wasn’t already a challenge now it’s a good thing to do math! So not my favorite thing!

After I ran the test I found some interesting –oh shall I write this word???? sigh statistics (didn’t like that class in college by the way!0
In a 65k word manuscript I have:
pillows 27 times! How can that be? It’s not a book about a woman who sells them! I will need to work on that!
Over 144 times! I don’t remember using it at all
and then there is a favorite
Shoulder! 725 times shocking!
This makes it sound like my manuscript is pretty awful. It isn’t though and it will be much better once I change things around. Maybe I’ll throw in a few knees and toes in place of those shoulders.

What possessed me to discover this trick? Margie Lawson’s class on Empowering Character Emotions. Margie is an excellent teacher using her whole brain skills in a way that works for right and left brainers. I’m whole brained which is good because I do like organizing and playing with highlighters, and then right brained–love to create things. Just don’t ask me to do any math!

About Diana Brandmeyer

Christian author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer writes historical and contemporary romances set from the Midwest to the Mountains. She’s written Mind of Her Own, Frontier Legacy Brides, Small Town Brides, and A Time for Love, among others. Once widowed and now remarried she writes with humor and experience on the difficulty of joining two families be it fictional or real life. *affiliate links are used on this site. It won't cost you more but those extra pennies keep me stocked in tea, thank you!

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. That shoulder thing throws me. I don’t have a program to count words but inevitably when I’m reading over a larger piece I will see a word pop up and then do a find, replace in Word to weed some of them out.

    I was recently reading Robert Jordan’s 6th book in the wheel of time and I kid you not, he must have used wryly a hundred times. Big book, but still. How many characters can do something wryly how many times before it loses its meaning.

    Not to mention it’s a horrible adverb anyway. What the heck does wryly mean? I mean, I know what it means, but it’s certainly something that can be shown with dialogue or action.

    Anyway, if that word counter thingy is some free download, I’d appreciate you sharing the information. I’d be curious to see what pops up in my writing. Probably words I’d never suspected.

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