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March 14th, 2013
13 Ways to Look at a Situation

Thursday Thirteen

Whenever I’m in editing mode one of the words I cut/prune from my manuscript is “look”. Look isn’t a bad word, but my characters tend to look here and look there. They look all over the place.

Thirteen Words To Replace Look

1. Gawk

2. Ogle – I do love this word!

3. Contemplate

4. Peruse

5. Regard

6. Examine

7. Leer

8. Inspect

9. Peek

10. Observe

11. Study

12. Monitor

13. Glower

Writers, what word/s do you tend to overuse in a manuscript? Readers, does repeated use of the same word throw you out of a story?

21 comments to “13 Ways to Look at a Situation”

  1. Mary Kirkland
    March 14th, 2013 at 1:09 am · Link

    When writing articles I tend to over use the word, ‘the’.

    I don’t think I’ve come across a book in a while where I’ve noticed an over use of words.

    • Shelley Munro
      March 14th, 2013 at 12:22 pm · Link

      The is a hard one since there aren’t many words that can do the trick! Realising we have an overuse problem is half the battle, I think.

  2. Anthony North
    March 14th, 2013 at 3:03 am · Link

    I watched that list with great interest. I always try not to – definitely NOT – overuse words :-)

  3. CountryDew
    March 14th, 2013 at 4:51 am · Link

    A good list! Overusing the same word is problematic. I once edited novels for a publishing house and changing overused words was a speciality. I remember one book used the word “just” over 600 times in 210 pages. There was “just” falling over the place …

    • Shelley Munro
      March 14th, 2013 at 12:23 pm · Link

      Just is often filler, and at least it’s an easy fix. Delete. That’s an awful lot for one book!

  4. Stephanie Sullivan
    March 14th, 2013 at 5:53 am · Link

    Love the list. I’m terrible about overusing the word “look”. Glimpse and glance are good replacements too. Happy Thursday! :)

    • Shelley Munro
      March 14th, 2013 at 12:24 pm · Link

      Nodding. I glance and glimpse too.

  5. Mia Celeste
    March 14th, 2013 at 6:56 am · Link

    Yep, lots of better, more specific words for look.

    • Shelley Munro
      March 14th, 2013 at 12:24 pm · Link

      True. I wish I remembered this during the first draft. It would make life much easier!

  6. Julia Phillips Smith
    March 14th, 2013 at 9:01 am · Link

    My earlier manuscripts used to have a lot of ‘desperate’ emotions/glances, etc. Hopefully, not so much anymore.

    • Shelley Munro
      March 14th, 2013 at 12:25 pm · Link

      We learn as we go, and usually replace one bad habit with another!

  7. Ron.
    March 14th, 2013 at 9:41 am · Link

    What, no stare? No squint?

    I guess I can’t complain; no T13 from me this week…

    • Shelley Munro
      March 14th, 2013 at 12:25 pm · Link

      Squinting and staring work for me :)

  8. Skylar Kade
    March 14th, 2013 at 10:00 am · Link

    Shelley, I love the word “ogle” too–it’s just so fun to say!

    I have a bad habit of doing this in my drafts too :)

    • Shelley Munro
      March 14th, 2013 at 12:26 pm · Link

      It has a nice hard sound to it. Some words are plain cool. Length doesn’t matter :)

  9. Heather
    March 14th, 2013 at 12:12 pm · Link

    Great list to scan. Repeated words can be distracting, depending on context, how often they are used, and how close together. Happy Pi(e) Day

    • Shelley Munro
      March 14th, 2013 at 12:27 pm · Link

      I had to run right over and check out your pies!

  10. Harriet
    March 14th, 2013 at 2:21 pm · Link

    I’ll remember those when I do my crossword puzzles

  11. Angela Brown
    March 14th, 2013 at 5:34 pm · Link

    I “glared” at the list lol!!

    I tend to overuse the word “as”, like doing so and so as blah blah lol!

  12. Nessa
    March 15th, 2013 at 7:26 am · Link

    Ogle and glower are my favorites.

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