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The other day, I ran a word count check on "eyes," which seems to consistently be the most overused word in all of my manuscripts to date. The result? 457 eyes.
To put this in perspective, let me offer you some other numbers.
My book is 99,616 words and 335 double spaced pages (Times New Roman, 12pt Font).
This means there are, on average, 1.4 pairs of eyes per page in my manuscript. The word "eyes" makes up about .04% of my novel. That's less than half a percent, and when I look at it like that, I feel a little bit better.
Still! I felt it would be prudent to take out some of those extra eyeballs, so as I continued my revisions, I started replacing them as I came upon them in the text. I'm happy to report that I brought the number down to 433-- and I'm not quite half way through the book. Obviously there will need to be a second cutting, later, but I'll take what I can get.
The word just above eyes in frequency is "The" with a capital T (483), and "but" has tied eyes for usage. I was surprised there wasn't more "but" until I realized that there's an additional tally of 290 uses of the word "But." Maybe I should be more concerned about B(b)ut.
In contrast, I use the names of my primary characters Eve (388), Adam (296), Thor (259), Reu (209), and Garrit (195) far less.
In case you're wondering, the word "back" comes in at 374, with "could," "them," and "me," buffering it against Eve. There will be some search and replace in the future for "back."
The top scoring word? "the" lowercase, with over 4000 uses. 4% of my manuscript.
Yowza. Those articles really take up a lot of word count real estate.
Some other words of note:
By the way, if you don't see me around the blogosphere in the next couple of days, it's because I've banned myself from the internet to finish revising 24 chapters in less than a week. If major progress does not get made, I may have to skip my Friday blogpost--so savor the statistics! And also, feel free to check out your own! What's your "eyes" equivalent?
For the Insatiable, Most Common Words from "the" to "The" in The Book of Generations: