Writing Tip #8 Repetition

This is the eighth of 12 posts for writers who are planning to self-publish using the great services now available to the amateur writer, such as Smashwords, Amazon KDP, CreateSpace etc.

These mistakes are straight from week1 of “Good Writing 101”. You might get away with one or two of them, but if you consistently break these rules  readers will notice.

8. Repetition

Try not to repeat yourself. This is the sort of mistake that should be picked up easily by an editor, or even a proofreader. Here’s an example.

Inspector Bill Marsden scrutinized the murder scene. The bishop’s body had been removed, a chalk mark indicating where it had lain on the carpet. Otherwise, the crime scene was undisturbed. The blue carpet was stained brown with a pool of dried blood. The poker, also streaked with blood, lay on the hearth where the murderer had dropped it. The forensic team would dust that for fingerprints, although Marsden knew they would find none. Whoever had killed the bishop had been careful to leave as few clues as possible.

He checked all the doors and windows. None had been forced. It seemed the bishop was acquainted with his murderer.

His phone rang. It was Marsden’s nemesis, Chief Superintendent Lamb. “What have you got, Inspector?”

“I’ve gone over the scene again,” said Marsden. “My guess is that his eminence knew his killer — there’s no sign of forced entry.”

“Tell me you have something to go on, Bill,” said the chief.

“There’s a lot of blood, sir, and we have the murder weapon. It’s a poker, but I’m afraid forensics won’t find any prints on it. Whoever the killer was, he was careful not to leave any clues.”


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