Do you know how many times people shrug in the manuscript I’m revising? Far too many! They also do a lot of wobbling, tugging and don’t get me started on my bad habit of inserting “just” just about every other paragraph.
You know I love Scrivener. As I’ve dived into what I hope is the last (or one of the last) revisions of the present WIP, I’ve discovered its word frequency tool. I ran that statistic on my 50,000 word ms. and discovered that I used miss 148 times, not 222, and but a whopping 310 times.
That report was fascinating but (!) what ultimately seems most helpful to me are two old tricks of the trade. First, I do a “find” for words I suspect I’ve overused (like shrugged). When I see them highlighted in yellow, sometimes only paragraphs apart, it makes it easier to find alternatives.
Second, you can’t beat reading the manuscript aloud for catching clunkers. So that’s what I’ll be doing for the next few days. THEN, I’ll email the whole shebang off to my incredibly patient editor.