Avoiding echoes in writing

CR Hodges, Author

While I don’t pretend to be an expert writer (yet), I’ve certainly learned a fair number of ways to write better and a lot more ways to avoid writing worse.  One writing goober that befuddled me early on was inadvertent writing echoes.

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For writing, an echo is not a yodel bouncing off a distant mountain, rather a repeat of a word or sound that jars the reader.  Some examples:

  • The repetition of a common word in close proximity, especially if used in the same position in a sentence or paragraph.  Common examples are the use of the word “I” or “she/he” to begin consecutive sentences or paragraphs.  obviously this will happen from time to time even in good writing, so in this case it’s about frequency of occurrence.  Using a character’s name too often is also a common example, even if not in the same sentence position.
  • The repetition of an uncommon…

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