Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shower with The Allman Brothers

Just a few moments ago– literally, moments– I was in the bathtub, listening to my Pandora Radio "Allman Brothers/Willie Nelson" combo station (if you really let that sink in, I won't have to explain that this is another "Jen gets high" stories") when "Jessica" by The Allman Brothers came on.

If you don't watch Top Gear, I have to tell you right now that this is going to be about %60 percent less funny. But anyway, the theme to Top Gear is "Jessica", or a synthed up version of it, anyway. Sitting in my tub, I started laughing. Then I noticed it was echoey, so I put on my best Jeremy Clarkson voice and said, "Tonight! Richard Hammond sucks his own cock! I get arrested soliciting a prostitute, and James dies in an autoerotic asphyxia accident!"

The fact that I laughed out loud, or "Loled" as they say in the parlance of our time, got me thinking. How often are my characters laughing per book. I know that if you opened Ashes To Ashes and threw a dart in it, you'd hit somebody crying. But I wonder how many times I just lazily throw that verb at the page because I needed to tag some dialogue to keep it from becoming a screenplay.

Moreover, what are other really repetitive things I write? I have writer friends who I can guarantee certain phrases will pop up in everything they write. I've read authors who repeat the exact same descriptions in every single book of their series. Everyone has their own voice, and sometimes that voice echoes itself.

Reader, what are some often repeated phrases of your favorite authors? Is there any particular phrase of mine that you've noticed, or that you wish I would stop using? Is there anything you find repeated over and over in your own writing?

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