Writers often have a word they repeat throughout their manuscripts. For instance, my word is “that.”
He thought that she looked tired.
She said that they should go out sometime.
Adding this four letter word once in a while wouldn’t have been so awful, but I managed to use it way too often and it really hurt the flow of my story. Of course, I didn’t notice it at first. The issue was pointed out to me by an editor, who highlighted “that” for a whole chapter. Let me tell you, it was quite an eye opener.
What you want to do is figure out your go-to word and remove as many as possible. If you have someone read your work, they’ll usually recognize words that are repeated too often without much effort. Once you know what you’re looking for, simply use the Find function in Word.
In the Home tab of your Word document, you will see Find all the way to the right. Simply click on it and type the word you’re looking for in the space provided. This will highlight the word throughout your manuscript, helping you determine whether or not it’s needed.