I’ve been reading A Game of Thrones again, and this time, I keep noticing all the “Ys” that he puts in every word. Every other name or place has a “Y” in it. In fact, even ordinary words, like “Jane” or “Will” have been converted to “Y” names “Jayne” and Wyl.” Honestly, it’s starting to drive me crazy. I get he was trying to craft his own set of phonetics or whatever, but he should have left out some of the “Ys.”
Another book I read used the word “surreptitiously” all the time. “He looked around the corner surreptitiously.” She glanced at him surreptitiously out of the corner of her eye.” “They crept across the room surreptitiously.” That annoyed me as well.
Last week we talked about 10 mistakes that writers make that turn readers off, and for me, this is one of the biggest ones. If I am distracted from immersion in the story, how can I enjoy what you wrote? If I am jarred every other word by unnecessary “Ys,” how can I follow the plot?
So, the moral of the story is, try not to distract your readers with too-often repeated words, or even letters. They make it harder for readers to enjoy your story.