Avoiding Repetitive Language in Fiction Writing

Avoiding Repetitive Language in Fiction Writing

Get rid of sticky sentences in improving your own writing

 

 

Word repetition can really weigh your writing down and also slow down readers. Any kind of writing can be challenging at times, also when it comes to choosing the right words to describe the setting and define characters. Many times, we struggle to find the right word, often falling back on overused words and phrases. And very often it can weaken your writing in terms of dulling character descriptions, and in the worst case, can kill the reader's interest in the story... And we don't want that, right?

 

An example is when a character is saying something in a story, we often write "says." Repeating "he said, she said" can get a little annoying too. A good rule to follow is that when it's understandable who is speaking the line of dialogue, you can remove the verb completely. Try and do so and see if it will look more professional :) On the other hand, you sometimes need to indicate who's speaking. In this case, we hope the following list of alternatives to be used instead of "say/says" can be a big help:

 

 

 

In a longer conversation/dialog:

began, added, continued, completed, reiterated

 

Questioning/answering:

proposed, offered, admitted, refused, lied, guessed

 

Discussing:

argued, agreed, discussed, interrupted, contradicted, accepted, criticised, pulled back his argument, objected, pointed out, challenged, interjected, convinced

 

Messaging:

declared, announced, noted, informed, referred

 

Without thinking:

blurted, thought aloud, blethered

 

Feeling:

encouraged, chuckled, complained, weeped, moaned, teased, laughed, joked, admired, complimented, raged, swore, cursed, praised

 

Opinion:

meant, implied, refused, argued, doubted, exaggerated, assessed, apologized, approved, gloated, presented, invited, offended, ranted, insulted

 

Requesting:

Insisted, demanded, promised, asked, decided

 

Danger:

warned, threatened

 

Sounds:

whispered, mumbled, marveled

 

Other:

assured, lured, considered

 

 

Remember -  if it's obvious who's speaking, don't use a "say" verb or any of these alternatives. 

 

Good luck and good writing :)

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