My goodness. I am shocked. Seriously shocked.
Having finished this novel (first in a series), I thought I might run it through an online word counting tool. This one. I was curious to see which words I used the most, and if I needed to tweak my prose.
Yes, I needed to tweak it.
Apart from various important words used for grammar constructs (and, the, etc), and names and pronouns (very high, so high I will probably have to tweak that), I found my most common words were:
Ugh. In one paragraph I had the word ‘now’ three times. Three! How had I never seen this? In some chapters I have a higher than normal usage of certain words like table (lol, table!) and, nerd that I am, I have written down for every single chapter the most used words. I have spent the last three days rooting through and eliminating these words where they are unnecessary, and getting the thesaurus out when they are.
It’s been a fascinating eye-opener to how my subconscious strings sentences together. If you have a novel that is ‘finished’ I highly recommend using this tool. It’s free, and fun, if you like analysing stuff. DO NOT use this if you haven’t finished the novel, else you will never stop editing. Seriously.