Like most writers, I can get stuck on a word or a phrase and use it multiple times without recognizing what I'm doing.
I'm not talking about "ick" words: that, just, only, it, as, was, had, been . . . you know which ones.
"Fisted" is a cool word that is unusual enough that one use in a book is brilliant. Use it twice and I begin to take a closer look at the author's ability to evolve.
"Sigh" I'm not so sure about. It's almost a word I glance over without it registering. One of my writing partners suggested I do a search and find out how many times I use it. True, I'd used it twice in the two chapters I'd just submitted for critique, but I'd only used it five times in the entire manuscript.
A friend of mine discovered, after her book was on the shelves, that she'd used the phrase "bear of a man" way too often.
How much is too much?
As a writer, have you caught yourself (or more likely been caught) using a word or phrase more than you should?
As a reader, are there words that make you cringe?
CR: I'll be cracking the cover of Urgent Care by CJ Lyons tonight.
It's all better with friends.