2 January 2012

“When there is an original sound in the world, it makes a hundred echoes.”

“When there is an original sound in the world, it makes a hundred echoes.”
John A. Shedd

Words are a bit like this.

One of the gremlins that so often slip through the editing net while preparing a manuscript for submission to a publisher is what is termed ‘echoes’ by the editors who plough through those lucky enough to make it onto the editors piles.

‘Echoes’ is another word for ‘repetition’. And it is surprising how many times ‘echoes’ creep into your work.

It may not be the same word that echoes through the whole story. You may find certain words litter several chapters and then the echoes change in the following ones.

Today I was working through a particular chapter searching out two words. ‘Season’ and ‘children’. ‘Season’ turned out to be under control, but ‘children’? In one particular page the word was everywhere. In almost every sentence.

And the horrifying thing was I’d ‘read’ over the echoes several times and only discovered them when I went in and used the ‘find’ facility.

Some echoes are permissible, but too many, and they simply become an annoyance that disrupts the writing flow, and pull the reader out of the story.

As I use all these awesome gadgets within the program and other software available I give thanks I do not have to struggle through the days of the typewriter, and my respect for those authors rises with each mistake my computer ‘gadgets’ discover and correct.

1 comment:

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I have to check all the time for echoes. I recently read a best-selling author and he used the same description of a character every time the man appeared in the story. It was so irritating even though I loved the book.