Don’t you just love people who will tell you the tales of their lives over and over with a slightly different twist each time. They entertain us and often make us reflect on simpler times. There is nothing quite like an amazing storyteller.
I’ve been there before, only my retold stories are not nearly as exciting after my husband has heard them a thousand times. You at home mom’s know what I’m talking about, that whole I need to talk to more adults than preschoolers, or else’s it’s lean over and cut the bosses’ meat at your husband’s next company party.
Yeah, we can occasionally be so excited to talk to someone over the age of five that we repeat stories without realizing it.
The first story teller is exciting and entertaining. The second situation is just plain redundant. Redundant will kill off readers quicker than passive verbs.
Where should you avoid redundancy in your novel?
Dialogue. No one likes to be told the same thing over and over again. Characters who say the same things multiple times to make sure the reader got it, insults the reader.
There are some similar words that make up a character’s vocabulary. It is okay to use these to bring out the character, but it should be varied from character to character.
Clues. A clue is placed merely to give a reader a hint at what is really happening in the novel. You do not want to repeat the clues for your reader, or it will eliminate some element of surprise. Beat an idea of something over someone’s head and they will get it and ultimately guess the ending.
Personality. You wouldn’t have six villains in one novel, so don’t duplicate the other personalities either. The diversity of cast is what makes readers love a book. You want them to be unique with their own quirks and habits.Word Choice. All authors have pet words. Ask your crit buddies what your pet words are and then do a find and replace. You should be sure to fluctuate your word choices, especially verbs or unique words.
Plot. If your story is just like four or five others on the market, you need to find a twist. Something that makes it fresh, or why read it.
Setting. Some settings will repeat themselves in your novel. For example, a police officer is likely to have some scenes at a police station. Otherwise, you should mix up your fluctuating scenes a lot to incorporate a wide range of settings.
Develop a rich setting pallet that can appeal to more readers. It will also allow you to transform the mood of the scene through setting more easily.
What redundant things drive you crazy when you are reading a book?