repetition of a word
or phrase in your writing is rather like going out the door with
another sweater clinging to the back of your sweater uh,
dorky. Or smiling wide with a piece of spinach stuck between
your front teeth. It's the sort of thing we all do on occasion,
and that is why we need to revise, revise, revise.
Intentional repetition on the
other hand, can bring in the bongo-drums of musicality! Here
are some examples of this powerful poetic technique:
"Man lives in the flicker,
Man lives in the flicker."
Mark Slade, "The New Metamorphosis" Mosaic 8
(1975), quoted in Marshal McLuhan, "Man and Media,"
transcript of a talk delivered in 1979, in Understanding Me:
Lectures and Interviews (MIT Press, 2005).
"Wanting to be read,
wanting the recognition, whether its Jacqueline Susan-style,
all glitz and limos, or sweeping the gland slam of literary events,
is not a crime."
Betsy Lerner, The Forest for the Trees
book my only book...
"You have also never
said one word about my poor little Highland book my only book.
I had hoped that you and Fritz would have liked it."
Queen Victoria (letter to her daughter, 23/12/1865)
money, money, money, money....
"Tancredi, he considered,
had a great future; he would be the standard-bearer of a counter-attack
which the nobility, under new trappings, could launch against
the social State. To do this he lacked only one thing: money;
this Tancredi did not have; none at all. And to get on in politics,
now that a name counted less, would require a lot of money: money
to buy votes, money to do the electors favors, money for a dazzling
style of living..."
Guiseppe di Lampedusa, The Leopoard
In a previous post I talked about
as a writer. One thing to notice as you read is where the
author repeats a word or phrase if you judge it effective.
P.S. Oodles of free resources
for creative writers on my workshop
page, including "Giant Golden
Buddha" & 364 more free 5 minute writing exercises.