Tips on Good Writing #2: Don’t repeat the same special word or descriptive phrase in a sentence or paragraph*
_ Certainly words such as “the” demand to be used more than once. That’s not boring unless they show up as every other word; they’re not eye-catchers. But if you have used a descriptive, colorful or unique term, for example you’ve described someone as “fascinating,” be sure you don’t use the word, in any of its versions, later in the same sentence or paragraph. You will soon disengage your reader.
Less Interesting: Old Weird Harold was the most fascinating kid on the block. For one thing, what kid would have a name that fascinated people like that?
Way to go: Old Weird Harold was the most fascinating kid on the block. For one thing, what kid would have a name like that? (adapted, with gratitude, from a phrase by Footprints author, Kay Roberts)
Less interesting: Old Weird Harold always wore a brown fedora on his head. Every time he took his fedora off, the young man bowed.
Way to go: Old Weird Harold always wore a brown fedora. Every time he removed his signature head ornament, the young man bowed.
*Excerpt from How To Write Your Memoirs...The Toolbox Edition, upcoming sequel to How To Write Your Memoirs...Fun Prompts to Make Writing...and Reading Your Life Stories a Pleasure!
Have you got a pet paragraph you'd like to send us to show how you've avoided this potential reader turn-off? Please send it to us in a comment below. Thanks!!!!
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