What’s Your Favorite Word/Phrase?

Seems like a simple question.  But, I don’t have answer and I don’t know if many others do.  I think it’s one of those unconscious things that pop-up in a persons’ writing.

Now, what am I talking about?  When I’m reading one of my HRs I don’t really pay attention to repeated words (unless they’re in the same paragraph) because I’m too caught up in the plot.  But, you and I both know that once you find an author you like (Me: Julia Quinn, Suzanne Enoch, Tess Dare) you read every single thing they’ve ever written.

Sounds kind of stalkerish, but they deserve it for being such awesometastic writers >_<

Eventually, you develop a sense of the author’s style to the point of reading a piece without an author listed and you’re able to identify the author.  This works for all writing.  Shakespeare, Woolf, Poe, Twain, Hemingway – they have distinctive writing styles.  If I put a sonnet in front of you without a author, time period, or title you would be able to tell me if Shakespeare wrote it or not.  Or….you would if you’re into the whole English thing.

In any case, my point is after reading countless books and series’ by the same authors certain words or phrases jump out at me because they’re often utilized.  I don’t know if this is a conscious effort or not on the author’s part, but it’s still interesting.

Then, I’ve been reading Cathy Maxwell lately and phrases she used (in the three books I’ve read by her) popped out.  Maybe it was because I read them back to back, but still.

Suzanne Enoch, I remember in particular because the word she used I didn’t know the meaning of and because she used it so many times I needed to look it up or lose the meaning of the work.

Sycophant – One who uses compliments to gain self-serving favor or advantage from another.

I started reading HRs my senior year of high school.  Some of you might expect me to have known this word by then, but I didn’t.  If you did, congrats =)

This isn’t a word, but one of my fictionpress readers commented that I liked the number three and many of the things that appear in the story, appear in threes.  I didn’t notice or do this on purpose, but a reader not involved in the writing process did.

Have you noticed any of these trends in the authors you read?  Have you noticed it in your own writing?

PS

2 thoughts on “What’s Your Favorite Word/Phrase?

  1. I’ve noticed that as well. Sometimes, it annoys me a great deal when a writer will use the same words over and over again to describe something. It makes me want to beat them over the head with a thesaurus. 😛

    Though, I love using words that describe both colour and attribute, like verdant. A quick google define search shows that verdant can mean “Green in colour; Abundant in verdure; Fresh; Inexperienced”, which just makes me tingle with happiness.
    Stuff like that is littered in my stories. Though, when I edit, I take most of them out because of my annoyance in repeated phrases.

    • I didn’t mean the same word in the same paragraph, just that it a distinctive word that stays with you enough to remember when/where you previously read it.

      Sycophant stuck with me because I had never heard it before and then I saw it in her other books as well.

      Haha, that’s cool =) I haven’t figured out what kind of words I like yet..hm…that’s my next mission!

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