OK. It’s official. I am in hell.
While playing with advanced find in MS Word 7 (yes, I do have better things to do but what can I say?) I stumbled over an alarming trend in my latest chapter. The. That unassuming article – everywhere. So, of course, unable to leave well enough alone, I investigated my entire 45,078 first draft and was horrified by the vast amount of thes therein. Grand total of 2052 so far.
I researched around and found a great resource in www.owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/. According to this post, the is a definite article. Like an adjective, it modifies nouns. In this case, specific or particular nouns. OK. I checked a couple of my favorite fiction authors, calculated their use of the. They hardly use the three letter word at all.
Repeat words plague every writer, I’m sure, but this onslaught is horrible. My writing is suffering, that’s obvious. Am I trying too hard? Probably. But if I’m repeating a word why couldn’t it be a cool multi-syllable word like, say, minesweeper or necromancer? I mean, this is embarrassing.
So, what’s your repeat monster word and how do you control it?
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