Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Repeat after me - Do No Repeat

Back in Dubai and I am cracking on with this 'listening to my Inner Voice' rework of A Cornish House. I find myself yet again stung with my own inadequacies at picking up my 'Irish' love of repetition - to be sure, to be sure. In this go-through I'm also thinking of the reader's experience and I must think my reader terribly thick becauseI have repeated the same damn things again and again albeit a different way each time. Enough already!

So it was heartening, in a strange way, to catch this link from the Guardian on Twitter today. However just because those authors can get away with it doesn't mean I can.

I do know that all my novels thus far do have a number of overlapping themes that I am playing with. I have yet to decide if this is good or bad.

Do you repeat? And if you do what? Themes, images, words......

4 comments:

ninaharrington said...

Oh I am so with you about repeats. Mr Nina is brave enough to proof my text before I press the send button, and after a couple of chapters he will say... you need to do a search for XXX because that word is starting to seriously annoy me.
Cruel but kind. And true. Last book my heroine tilted her head 14times before I changed it?
All the best with the writing - you are SO jazzed for 2010!! Star.
Nina x

ps. word verif for this comment is 'rerunn'. Spooky. I am in the middle of revisions.

liz fenwick said...

Thanks Nina and good luck with the revisions. That word verification was def spooky!
lx

Debs said...

I know what you mean about repetition and have to remember not to repeat characters' actions, or to explain something to the reader when they're more than capable of working it out themself.

Kate Harrison said...

I try not to repeat, but I think it's inevitable that you do a little. My friend picked up on two mentions of Findus Crispy Pancakes in two books (the said pancakes had quite an influence on my early life) and I also have words I repeat a lot, so much so that I now have a list to check for at the end of a book. Totally recognise what Nina says.

Thematically I think repetition is even more inevitable. We have preoccupations and ideas that we're working through in our writing, I am sure. I'd say don't fret till it's all done - image repetitions are the kind of thing you pick up in editing at the final stage, and thematic ones won't matter until your future editor is reading your second book!

PS: Spanish exam went well, thanks. I hope...