Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for Gasp

We all have 'em. Those words or phrases we use over and over again in our writing. "Gasp" seems to be a big one for me. Why do my characters always find themselves out of oxygen, gasping for air, intaking a sharp breath? Are their lives just that exciting and dangerous they forget how to breathe all the time?


And why do my characters always fall asleep? Like, half my chapters either end with someone falling asleep in a strange place or start with someone waking up. It's like my fast forward through time-anator.

Other favorite overused words for me: that, have, look, so, just, well, really. And don't even get me started on the smiling. My characters smile, a lot, like every three lines. And I have this impulse to mention it, like every three lines.

This site has been helpful for me to come up with creative ways to express things I fall into a repetitive rut about. Scroll down and check out the lists on the right side of the blog.

As far as specific words go, though, I just learn what they are and do a "find" through the document or pray that my CP's catch them.

How about you? What are some of your overused words or phrases?

11 comments:

Shirley Wells said...

Haha. My characters don't gasp but they smile a lot and they nod all the time. Perhaps they should gasp instead of nod. Hmm. :)

Just, really and seem are my favourite overused words.

jaybird said...

Glad it's not just me! I recently went through my WIP and redacted about 100 "really's" and "totallys"
too many!

I'd like to blame it on my living in the CA Valley back in the 80's, but that's "like really" not a good enough excuse, is it? LOL

Sara Hill said...

Yeah, gasping gets me too. Also, "just." But hey, my internal editor needs this stuff to stay busy and out of the way!

Sara Hill said...

Also, thanks for the great link!

Tobi Summers said...

I overuse "just" a lot. And my characters tend to shrug, glare, glower and laugh/giggle a lot. Probably more than is necessary.

ilima said...

Shirley-Ooh. My characters nod a lot too.

Jaybird-I have so many really's!

Sara-I use that link constantly when I'm drafting...it's SO helpful.

Tobi-Glare. Yes, my characters like to glare a lot too.

Giora said...

Thansk for the link of Emotion Thesaurus. Gasp is a neat word and I used it once. I used Falling Asleep a fw times to end the chapter. It's just natural to end the story of the chapter like this, and then start the next chapter with Waking Up. I have a few Smiling, but not as often as you do. If you add a word to it like .. she smiles shyly .. she smiles lightly .. she smiles sweetly to let him capture her lips ..:) then it's not repetitive.
Reading Tobi's comment I noticed that many authors use shrug and frown many times. Glare and gaze are also common, and I made mistakes not using them correctly.

Willing 'Ohana said...

I just read your fairytale adaptation. Did you write more? I really enjoyed that. I thought maybe Snow White in the beginning but when the character introduced herself as Aurora, I knew it was Sleeping Beauty. Are we going to be able to read more of your writing? Like another novel? :) Honestly that was awesome Ilima.

Jaycee DeLorenzo said...

Mine shake their head so much I think they're about to get whiplash. Thanks for the link!

Giora said...

Does anyone know, where is the H today? Hmmm..

Maybe H for Holiday from posting.

ilima said...

Giora-I've started using frown more, but haven't used shrug much. I hope you find the thesaurus useful.

Miki-I'll have my current novel ready for you guys to read soon and I think you'll like it.

Jaycee-Haha. Mine nod.

Giora-For the A to Z challenge through the rest of April, Sunday's are off. Haha...H for Holiday. :)