It takes months for most of us to write an entire manuscript, and unless you recursively read all your chapters as you go, there might be quite a gap between the writing of Chapter 1 and the writing of Chapter 30. I find that when I go back and read the entire thing straight through, I always find surprises. Some are pleasant surprises (I forgot I wrote that – That’s pretty funny!). Others make me slap my head.
I’m very repetitive. I tend to forget what information I’ve already given the reader. So, Mick thinks his mother favors his younger brother, Will. Noted. I don’t need to repeat it five times! On the bright side, it gives me an obvious place to cut the word count!
I also find that certain words tend to get overused. I really have no idea while I’m doing the writing, but when I read through the whole thing, they tend to jump out at me. For instance, in VOLTAGE, people recoil a lot. They recoil in fear, disgust, surprise, and guilt. Yup, that’s a lot of recoiling. In my last read-through, I replaced some recoiling with other words, but I just now checked – and there are still 7 instances of recoiling in my current draft.
They stagger a lot, too. And furrow their brows. They’re just a recoiling, staggering, brow-furrowing kind of crowd!
Do you catch yourself using the same verbs or descriptive phrases over and over? What are they? Do share!