Besides, I already talked about one of my favorite quotes ever (something Angela Chase said on My So-Called Life) when I was reflecting on the hoopla that Wall Street Journal article about contemporary YA being too dark for teens. You can read the My So-Called Life quote and see how I used it to respond to the hoopla here on my personal blog if you like.
And when it comes to vocabulary, I'm kind of braindead right now and I'm about to show you why. A few weeks ago, I finished revisions on the book I've been working on for the past year or so. I don't know what other writers do, but for me one of the final stages of revising is noting down words/images/phrases that I think I may have overused as I do a read through my book. The I use the Find function on word to look for these words and see if I really did use them to much and if so I try to find a better way to rephrase or replace them. That's when I break out my word bible:
It's an excellent tool, but you have to be a bit wary or you will start inserting words that your character would never use or getting out of control with flowery language that your editor will later mark, "PURPLE! Rephrase!" Yeah, that has definitely happened to me.
Anyway here is my list of words/phrases/images I was worried about overusing in the draft of the book I just finished (just click to enlarge it):
Yep, as the blog title indicates, that is a GIANT list of words. Fortunately they weren't all as overused as I thought they were and as you can see some are synonyms so if they were sprinkled through out, I was okay with it. I did however have a lot of "insisting" and "demanding" going on, so I will share with you the list of alternatives I made from my handy synonym finder:
Some are more normal sounding than others and I did use those. I was excited about admonish, which I felt I could safely use and I think might I have used entreat as well, but although I really loved exhort, I wasn't so sure I could get away with it.
I really love the Synonym Finder though. Are there any other word geeks out there who think thesauruses are fun? What about those of you who write, what are your methods for handling those overused words?