What is an “Echo?” Tips To Axe These Repeat Offenders

Useful writing tools to identify repeated words and phrases.

Writers In The Storm Blog

By Sharla Rae

One of the things we’ve discussed in our critique meetings is the tendency all writers have to repeat certain words and phrases. “Echoes” is a term I’ve heard applied to frequently repeated words.

Read your chapter out loud, and that’s exactly what they sound like.

Common Causes of Echoes:

  • Using lame and boring “to be” verbs. When used, they often produce not only echoes but also wordy constructions.
  • Many echoes are subject oriented. For example, let’s say that in one chapter a wagon plays a big part in the action. Echoing “wagon” may be your repeated offense. Subject oriented words are sneaky. At first, they seem absolutely necessary. A closer inspection proves otherwise.

Helpful Echo-Zapping Sites

Laura Drake found a website that counts repeated words: www.wordcounter.com/

The writer simply copies his/her chapter then pastes it into the provided box. The program allows a list of 25 to…

View original post 417 more words

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4 thoughts on “What is an “Echo?” Tips To Axe These Repeat Offenders”

  1. Just from that list, I can pick out “nodded” and “glanced” as words I know to watch out for when I’m editing. I know the characters are doing these things, but maybe I don’t always have to share that. 🙂

    “Was” is the big one for me right now. Even when I’m being careful, I have wasitis in the worst way…

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