Another Word for Something

I spent yesterday getting through some of the revisions of Dragon.  One of my pet peeves is repeated words, and I found a couple of spots in the manuscript where I had done exactly that.  Usually, all it takes is a quick thesaurus visit or a little bit of rearranging to make the problem disappear.  One turned out to be a little tricky.

Here’s the sentence as it stood in the second draft: “As Ar’Rastet chased her, close on her tail, something inside her shifted.  There was something about their flight that woke something primal within her.”

That’s right, the word “something” is repeated three times in those two sentences.  Yuck.  I’m not sure how that slipped in there, but it had to be fixed.

The first appearance of the word seemed like the best one to keep, so the second and third needed to be addressed.  The second was easy to replace – that something meant flavor, character, etc. so I decided to go with “undertone” and readjust the words around it accordingly.  The third was the tricky part, and I struggled to find a good word to use.  I didn’t want to be too specific, because the main character doesn’t really recognize her reaction at first.  There just aren’t that many good, vague terms to put in its place, so in the end I had to add a little bit of definition to it.

Here’s how it stands now: “As Ar’Rastet chased her, close on her tail, something inside her shifted.  There was an undertone to their flight that woke a primal urge within her.”

Better, don’t you think?  At least there’s only one “something” in the second version!

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