I read my whole Golden City manuscript through for the first time yesterday. I picked up a whole lot of word echoes: that’s where you use the same word twice or more in close proximity. If it’s a really common word, that’s OK. But if it not so common, then it sticks out like a sore thumb.
I was obviously fixated on “raised his/her eyebrows”. I reckon I had at least one of those in every chapter. All my characters did it at least once. One of my characters even “fluttered her eyebrows”. I would like to see that!
I went through and did a search and replace on a number of words, including filter words (seem, felt, looked like, etc). I halved the instances of ‘stepped’, ‘grin’, ‘frowned’ and ‘alright’. I had 33 instances of ‘walk(ed)’! But mostly, that’s what they’re doing. There’s only so many times that you can replace ‘walked’ with ‘stumbled’, ‘hobbled’ or ‘tip-toed’.
Anyway, I just find it fascinating how unwittingly repetitive I can be.