My brain has this weird thing that it does when I write first drafts. Ok. I'm lying. My brain has at least ten weird things that it does when I write first drafts. But one of them is especially weird.
So. Imagine you're watching a romance. And let's face it, we've all watched at least one. Even those of us who proclaim ourselves to be profoundly unromantic. Even those of us who claim to be manly men who don't watch romance. Even you. Yeah, you. I can see you trying to hide that Pride and Prejudice dvd, the BBC one.
And anyway, you're watching your romance, and there's this whole plot where there are two people who are in love, but they don't notice that they're in love. They think that they're in hate. Or they don't even notice that. They are absentminded in their adoration, even when it's written all over them. And it's annoying, but annoying in a good way. Us story loving folks, we actually quite like being annoyed, if the annoyance is gentle, if we know it will be resolved or concluded, if we know it's leading to something good. The annoyance of two people who should be together but aren't quite there yet. You know, it's like the smell of a perfect chocolate cake baking, so good that you just want to eat it right now, cooking be damned, but you don't, because you know you have to wait so that it can be the best thing possible. Romance is exactly the same.
See, my brain does this. But with words. Actually, not words. With a word. One particular word. My brain doesn't notice, but it likes to fall in love with one particular word. Deeply in love. So in love that it wants to use it at least once every paragraph. Sometimes every sentence. Sometimes twice every sentence. The word changes from one thing to another to another over the days and weeks and months that go into writing a first draft for me, but the love remains the same. The unnoticed, unrequited love. Except unlike Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, it's not really a love that can go anywhere.
Oh, my poor brain! Even if it was possible to marry a word, it's not like I'd want to marry the word smile. Or breathe. Or darkness. Or something. Especially something. I'm actually writing this blog post because I'm in the middle of transcribing a scene from my notebook and the scene is full of something. Something has crawled into every paragraph. I'll be typing away, and then another something will come in, where there should be an object or a description. And I'm so flooded by the something virus that I'm procrastinating by writing a blog post about it rather than actually dealing with it. It's that bad.
But, you know, this is a first draft. And that's what first drafts are for. Sometimes the 2836th way my brain chooses to use a word is the perfect way. It sits in its sentence exactly right. I just have to cull the first 2835 times to get to it. And sometimes, if you're doing it consciously, repetition can be glorious. But it can't be an unrequited love that slipped under the radar. It needs thought. A marriage needs to take place. A metaphorical marriage, but a marriage all the same. And you want it to be a happy one.
So yeah. It's probably not a problem for you, but you might want to watch out for it. You know, just in case it creeps up on you. It's something very sneaky.