I haven’t been a writer for long. I’m horrible with keeping dates so let’s say I’ve been an author for about four years – plus or minus a couple years or months. One thing I know is that even after all this time I have trouble with echoing, especially during first drafts.
What’s echoing? According to my editors and the expert writing bloggers, it’s when you repeat words, phrases, or concepts. This phenomenon happens naturally when we talk (If you haven’t noticed it during conversations, pay closer attention). When it occurs in writing, it’s annoying. You don’t intend to presume the reader is dumb and needs things repeated (unlike some people we converse with in real life), we just don’t realize it.
Maybe it’s easier for our brain to repeat something than to come up with new words or phrases. Who knows? Whatever the reason, cut it out. It’s irritating to readers.
Need an example? Here’s something from my own work, Entwined Destiny- the third book in the Destiny Series, which I caught when going through first round edits.
Where had those come from? She didn’t care; they needed to find their way back. She needed the neutral feelings for him returned. No need to complicate their friendship by becoming attracted to him.
And viola, the echo free version:
Where had those come from? She didn’t care; they needed to find their way back. She wanted the neutral feelings for him returned. It’s not part of the plan to complicate our friendship by becoming attracted to him. So stop it.
Do you have a tendency to notice echoes in novels?