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I was bored...

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Demesnedenoir, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    And hopped into Scrivener and checked out the word statistics... the manuscript is 120,738 words.

    12 words are used more than 1000 times, those twelve make up 31,774 words.

    In order of appearances: The, and, a, to, of, his, in, her, he, but, she, and with make up roughly 1/4 of the words used.

    "The" is 6.39% of the book. Not shocking as it is the #1 word according to wikipedia at 7% usage on average.

    One of my pet peeve words "that" I manage to only use 345 times, or 0.28%.

    The number of words I only used once was too big to count, I was not that bored, LOL.

    So, any other folks been bored enough to look at these things? And is there somewhere a statistical analysis of word usage in prose? Insane minds want to know, LOL.
  2. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    STOP IT, Des. Why would you do that to yourself?! :p
  3. FifthView

    FifthView Vala

    How many uses of "ly"?
  4. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    Masochist, LOL.

    -LY words, this is more complex, because I assume looking for adverbs, but not all -ly words are adverbs. So, while "ly" appears 560 times, I suspect -ly adverbs ring in around 1/2-3000 words including dialogue, maybe even less...but hard to say as a whole. The first 5600ish contains 1 -ly adverb and that's in dialogue, while there are 21 additional words ending in -ly. Religion is prominent, so holy eliminates 68 of the 560.

    Next time I'm bored I might check the -ly in detail, LOL. Sick statistic disease.

    The words actually, very, suddenly, quickly, do not appear, LOL.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2016
  5. SaltyDog

    SaltyDog Sage

    I don't think could ever be that bored to do something like that! Lol.
  6. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    Computers and their analytics make these weird tasks possible, that's for sure.

  7. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

    Hmmmm.... it actually is very interesting. I think many of us probably have some repetative words we don't even realize we rely on. I know that I'm a "that-ist" (see what I did there ;) in a big way, and it was Dem that taught me to search up "that" in my manuscript and find other words to replace it, or to even take it out entirely as it is often redundant.

    Edited version:

    I know I'm a "that-ist" in a big way, and it was Dem who taught me to search up "that" in my manuscript and find other words to replace it, or to even take it out entirely as it is often redundant.

    These sorts of tips can be very useful if you are a few hundred words over a required word count.
    Demesnedenoir likes this.
  8. Peat

    Peat Sage

    I have actually done searches for -ly altering them as I go.


    The Eye of the Eagle - 93,031 words. 13 words being used over 900 times - The, To, A, And, He, Of, Was, It, That, In, As, His, You.

    The is 4.32% of my book. So apparently I'm a little low. Not much use of female pronouns - its a military sci-fi book, the majority of characters are female. She and Her are coming in at about 500 times each.

    Gumshoe Paladin - 71,504 words. Words used over 700 times - I, The, To, A, And, Of, Was, You, That, It, Me, He. 12 words.

    A book with The *not* as the most used word! You'll never be able to guess this book is in First Person, right? She and Her are roughly equal to He and Him. Odd, but there we go. I is 1.92pc, The is 1.83pc.
  9. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    A lower "the" count could be a good thing. It's easy to over use that little bugger and a serious pain in the tush to go through all of them to see which are necessary, LOL.

    One tricky thing in the count is that "be" is one of the most used words in English BUT they count all forms of "be" as "be" I think.

    "that" is damned near addictive... and to bring in another conversation, so many authors will italicize that for emphasis... oh dear God nooooooo! LOL. me and that, it's a hate/love relationship.
  10. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Well, thanks to you Des I now use 1-2 italicized words per story. I see your big cowboy hat in my mind whenever I do, lol.
    Demesnedenoir likes this.
  11. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

    Reminds me of an episode of MTV's The State where one of the characters discovers that the word "and" exists and starts using it as much as possible.

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