Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Writer Tip #6 -- Redundant Words

What is a redundant word? It is a word that says something that's already been said.

For instance:

"I'm sad," she said morosely.

"I am so excited to go to the park!" she said enthusiastically.

The road twisted, turned and wound through the dry, arid desert.

In these examples, the redundant words are "morosely," "enthusiastically," "turned," "wound, and "arid." Or you could keep those words and take out "sad," "excited," "twisted," and "dry." I'll leave it up to you.

I have found it true that authors tend to use redundant words when they are trying to enrich a description, not realizing that they aren't adding new information, they're just rephrasing what was already there. Sometimes they are trying to lengthen a scene or get that word count up. (I've never gone over 82,000 before but I'm aiming to do it!) Whatever the reason, be it mechanical or from lack of knowledge, you should not use redundant words in your manuscripts. It's the mark of an unprofessional and makes your book boring and dull. (Ha!)

In summary, if the word you're using is already stated but in another way, that word does not need to be there. Weed it out and save some room for words that add to the story or give more information. Don't harp on what the reader already knows.

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