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March 14, 2013

13 Ways to Look at a Situation

Thursday Thirteen

Whenever I’m in editing mode one of the words I cut/prune from my manuscript is “look”. Look isn’t a bad word, but my characters tend to look here and look there. They look all over the place.

Thirteen Words To Replace Look

1. Gawk

2. Ogle – I do love this word!

3. Contemplate

4. Peruse

5. Regard

6. Examine

7. Leer

8. Inspect

9. Peek

10. Observe

11. Study

12. Monitor

13. Glower

Writers, what word/s do you tend to overuse in a manuscript? Readers, does repeated use of the same word throw you out of a story?


  1. Mary Kirkland

    When writing articles I tend to over use the word, ‘the’.

    I don’t think I’ve come across a book in a while where I’ve noticed an over use of words.

    • Shelley Munro

      The is a hard one since there aren’t many words that can do the trick! Realising we have an overuse problem is half the battle, I think.

  2. Anthony North

    I watched that list with great interest. I always try not to – definitely NOT – overuse words :-)

    • Shelley Munro

      LOL – I watch too.

  3. CountryDew

    A good list! Overusing the same word is problematic. I once edited novels for a publishing house and changing overused words was a speciality. I remember one book used the word “just” over 600 times in 210 pages. There was “just” falling over the place …

    • Shelley Munro

      Just is often filler, and at least it’s an easy fix. Delete. That’s an awful lot for one book!

  4. Stephanie Sullivan

    Love the list. I’m terrible about overusing the word “look”. Glimpse and glance are good replacements too. Happy Thursday! :)

    • Shelley Munro

      Nodding. I glance and glimpse too.

    • Shelley Munro

      True. I wish I remembered this during the first draft. It would make life much easier!

  5. Julia Phillips Smith

    My earlier manuscripts used to have a lot of ‘desperate’ emotions/glances, etc. Hopefully, not so much anymore.

    • Shelley Munro

      We learn as we go, and usually replace one bad habit with another!

  6. Ron.

    What, no stare? No squint?

    I guess I can’t complain; no T13 from me this week…

    • Shelley Munro

      Squinting and staring work for me :)

  7. Skylar Kade

    Shelley, I love the word “ogle” too–it’s just so fun to say!

    I have a bad habit of doing this in my drafts too :)

    • Shelley Munro

      It has a nice hard sound to it. Some words are plain cool. Length doesn’t matter :)

  8. Heather

    Great list to scan. Repeated words can be distracting, depending on context, how often they are used, and how close together. Happy Pi(e) Day

    • Shelley Munro

      I had to run right over and check out your pies!

  9. Harriet

    I’ll remember those when I do my crossword puzzles

  10. Angela Brown

    I “glared” at the list lol!!

    I tend to overuse the word “as”, like doing so and so as blah blah lol!

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