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Repeated Sentence Starts, A Self-Publishing Editing Tip

January 3, 2021
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Category:

We’ve talked about dialogue tags leading to a repetitive reading experience that takes away from the story. Now, let’s talk about repetition!

We can’t have enough of repetition. We can’t have it. We can’t!

See what I did there?

One thing I learned as I wrote, my mind writes with repetitive sentence starts. Doing this makes a section of story quite boring. It almost breaks our brain, at least mine. I’ve worked through this the past year and my repetitive writing has diminished significantly.

Read this example.

The cat jumped over the box while it ran. The dog skidded around the corner. The car sped down the highway.

It’s readable, but it’s boring. We can clean it up to remove the repetitive sentence starts. Not only that, the change makes it more exciting.

As the car sped down the highway, the running cat jumped over the box while the dog skidded around the corner.

We’ve condensed the sentences to increase readability. By doing so, the sentence becomes more exciting and action-oriented. Sure, it may mean we’re down a paragraph, but that just means we need to describe things more to build a better scene.

You Can Use Repetition for a Purpose. That Purpose Is Emphasis.

They just stared.
They stared at the hole.
They stared for all eternity.

Without a story, we don’t have context, but using repeated sentence starts gives the idea more emphasis by repeating it. It’s one stylistic approach to emphasizing a section of story.

This was a quick one. The next time you self-edit, look for those nasty repetitive sentences. You’ll find them. And don’t just look for them to be one right after the other. Look at your paragraphs and try to see how often they repeat.

I once had a story with “I” repeated as a sentence start almost twenty times on one page. Not good.

Keep an eye out for repetition. It’ll help you clean your story up and make it more exciting to read.

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Lessons Writing 10 Books in 1 Year, a Self-Publishing Experience

January 11, 2021
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Category:

Wow! I can say I wrote ten books in a single year! What Are Some Lessons I Learned? That’s what I’m going to share about this journey. I might even write a few posts about this as I ruminate on the crapshoot of a year that was 2020, the dumpster

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One of the best books I’ve read about the writing life is Sometimes the Magic Works, Lessons from a Writing Life by Terry Brooks. The Shannara series is a popular epic fantasy starting with The Sword of Shannara from 1977, which helped put the fantasy genre on the map, a

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I’ve been working hard on my own goals and the lists I tend to each year to prepare for the year. We’re already six days into the New Year, and I’m far from done with my list. Here are three things I think every writer, especially authors, needs to commit

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Recent Articles

Lessons Writing 10 Books in 1 Year, a Self-Publishing Experience

January 11, 2021
|

Category:

Wow! I can say I wrote ten books in a single year! What Are Some Lessons I Learned? That’s what I’m going to share about this journey. I might even write a few posts about this as I ruminate on the crapshoot of a year that was 2020, the dumpster

Read More

Lessons From a Writing Life, Sometimes the Magic Works

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|

Category:

One of the best books I’ve read about the writing life is Sometimes the Magic Works, Lessons from a Writing Life by Terry Brooks. The Shannara series is a popular epic fantasy starting with The Sword of Shannara from 1977, which helped put the fantasy genre on the map, a

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January 7, 2021
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Category:

I’ve been working hard on my own goals and the lists I tend to each year to prepare for the year. We’re already six days into the New Year, and I’m far from done with my list. Here are three things I think every writer, especially authors, needs to commit

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Repeated Sentence Starts, A Self-Publishing Editing Tip

January 3, 2021
|

Category:

We’ve talked about dialogue tags leading to a repetitive reading experience that takes away from the story. Now, let’s talk about repetition! We can’t have enough of repetition. We can’t have it. We can’t! See what I did there? One thing I learned as I wrote, my mind writes with

Read More