I tend to overuse words. A lot. I have my favorites and they just happen. As writers we need to be wary of this. Some words you need to use a word ton. Like the and a. Others not so much. As I recently blogged about, I had serious issues with the word eyes in my latest work in progress. Three hundred and fifty uses of the word eyes in an 80,000 novel is a bit much.
You can google lists of overused words in fiction, but you should also pay attention to your own word usage. You may pick up a word and use it constantly that isn’t on one of the lists.
Usually, I start my own list of words to seek and destroy. Do this and create a new list often. I tend to have word trends or words of the month. A few months ago, the word was fool. In my novel, everyone was a fool and calling each other fools. Another time, it was almost fell. My characters were slipping and sliding and almost falling all over the place.
As you are editing your novel, pay attention to the words you use. If you are uncertain if a word is being used too often, use the find all function of your document. Seeing them all highlight can make a difference.