In this week’s column, I’m taking a look at redundancies in writing. This can be the repetition of certain words or phrases that need to be removed during the editing stages to make your story as good as it can be. Redundancies can usually be removed without affecting the story and it is often the case where stories can actually be ruined by having too many words, or redundancies, included. The links I’ve chosen this week will not only help you to identify redundancies in your writing, but also provide tips and advice on how to remove them to make your prose shine.
- http://allwritefictionadvice.blogspot.com/2014/02/redundancy-in-fiction-writing.html – Redundancies in Fiction Writing: This first article explains what redundancies are and how to spot them in your writing. Redundancies can come in the form of repeated word structures, repeated phrases, and repeated character traits. This article includes a section on how to correct redundancies in your writing too and is a great starting point.
- https://thewritersally.com/articles/best-trick-avoid-redundancy-and-improve-your-narrative/ – The Best Trick to Avoid Redundancy and Improve Your Narrative: This article talks about beats in your story and how to ensure they don’t repeat. Plot beats make up the narrative of your story and repeated beats can be a sign of overwriting. There’s quite a lot of information in the article detailing repeated beats and it includes examples before the article moves on to discuss how you can avoid redundancy and make sure you are not overwriting.
- https://shaylaraquel.com/blog/redundancies – 69 Redundancies to Avoid in Writing: This list of redundancies includes words that you can omit from your writing without the loss of meaning or function. It includes things like 12 noon where you can omit the 12 and it is still the same or circle around which can be written as just circle. Others include free gift, past history, red in colour, and repeat again. In each of these a word can be removed and the meaning remains the same. This is a great list to bookmark for future reference.
- https://jamigold.com/2019/10/watching-our-for-redundancy-in-our-story/ – Watch9ing Out for Redundancy in Our Story: This article looks at the three different types of repetition (redundancy) and whether they should be avoided. It then provides information on how to avoid it. The three types are alliteration, word echoes, redundant information. There are examples included to explain everything clearly and this is an excellent article if you want to get a thorough overview of how to avoid redundancy and remove it during your editing phases.
- https://utopianediting.com/index.php/2018/08/13/trim-the-fat-from-your-fiction-redundancy/ – Trim the Fat From Your Fiction: Redundancy: This article is a quick read, but packed with great information. The redundancies that are covered are dialogue tags, character names, pet words, and hidden redundancy. Each of these has its own section along with examples of how to remove the repetition or redundancy. The article ends with a link to 200 common redundancies that are noticed during editing and this is a fantastic list to have when you’ve finished your first draft.
- http://nomistakespublishing.com/writing-resources/list-common-redundancies/ – List of Common Redundancies: This is a massive list of common redundancies that will really help when you’re editing your novel. There are some extras towards the end with an explanation. Although this is essentially a business article, it is still useful for fiction writers and helps to get the point of redundancies across and show you how your writing will be better for having them removed.
- https://www.livewritethrive.com/2015/01/21/repetition-redundancy-and-overused-punctuation-oh-my/ – Repetition, Redundancy, and Overused Punctuation: This article is focused on overwriting in fiction and is all about how to write tight. It looks at repetition, redundancy, and overused punctuation and provides and explanation. If you get confused about when to use an Em dash or an Ellipse, there’s an explanation. There are before and after examples to illustration the points being made too.
- https://kathysteinemann.com/Musings/redundancy-quiz-01/ – Redundancy Quiz #1 For Writers: This last link is actually a series of 4 redundancy quizzes for writers and they are definitely worth completing. There are 10 sentences listed and you have to find the redundant word or phrase in each. The suggested edits for each of the sentences is listed below the quiz so you can see how they can be corrected along with an explanation of why a word or phrase was removed. I highly recommend doing all 4 quizzes if you want to learn how to remove/avoid redundancy in your writing.
I hope you’ve enjoyed all the links this week and have a better idea of what redundancies are and how they can be removed to improve your writing. If there is a topic you’d like to see me cover, all you need to do is get in touch with me via any of my social media links.
(c) Amanda J Evans