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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. 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.

  2. 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.

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

  4. LOL – I watch too.

  5. 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 …

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

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

  8. Nodding. I glance and glimpse too.

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

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

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

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

  13. What, no stare? No squint?

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

  14. Squinting and staring work for me :)

  15. 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 :)

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

  17. 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

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

  19. I’ll remember those when I do my crossword puzzles

  20. I “glared” at the list lol!!

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

  21. Ogle and glower are my favorites.

    Flash 55 – Remote