When you read several books by the same author or many articles by the same columnist, you tend to notice themes and word usages that sound all too familiar. To a point, this is desirable. An author's voice shining though becomes his or her signature. But how does one keep his or her manucripts from sounding like the "Department of Redundancy Department" or SOSO (same old, same old)? Or how does one come up with enough original work so as not to lead the reader to feel visited by ghosts of manuscripts past?
I was reading through some of my old pieces a day or so ago and noticed several words that I had used repeatedly which I had not seen on first edit. Removing myself from the closeness of my own creation for a time gave me a much more objective viewpoint for analysis.
Aditionally, expanding word usage helps to break up the monotony. Taking advantage of a thesaurus, magazines, "word finds" and cross word puzzles are other ways I have worked on curing this subconscious tendency to use the same phrases over and over again.
How do you deal with this issue in your own writing? Share with us your tricks for editing out repetition without hurting your continuity.