The Agatha Christie Code comes on tonight on the Documentary Channel (Dishnetwork at 8:55 pm Eastern Standard Time). If you are a writer, you might want to consider watching it.

One of the problems I have as a writer (in the first draft especially) is the repetition of specific words. Sometimes it takes a critique partner to point out all the repetitions to me. Hopefully, I’ve gotten better in recognizing my overuse of a word.

Repetition was Agatha’s Christie’s style according to the documentary mentioned above. The “experts” went on to say that her repetitions had a hypnotic effect and kept the reader turning pages.

I wanted to see this for myself, so I picked up one of the Agatha Christie novels I have in my personal library (I have five and hadn’t read any of them).

Sure enough, in her book, Elephants Can Remember, she repeats certain words over and over. Words like: remember, know, elephant, ivory, teeth.

I counted 14 remembers in one paragraph. One paragraph! Repetitions would never have gotten by my critique partners.

I have to say, despite the repetitions and reading especially to point them out, I still am intrigued by the mystery. I know if I were an unknowing reader, I would probably have never picked up on the repetitions.

By the way, I have used the word “repetition” 9 times in this blog. I wanted to try to use it more, but just couldn’t find how to make those repetitions.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0425067823/ref=sib_dp_pt/002-2374988-0513631#reader-link