I was having a heck of a time reading this one book. The story was sort of interesting, but it dragged and dragged and dragged and dragged…

Well, no wonder. The writing was overloaded with repetition — pages and pages of the same phrases used over and over. I thought, well, this is a multiple viewpoint story. Maybe it’s just this one character’s voice.

For the heck of it I read paragraph by paragraph through three consecutive chapters that had different POVs. Gee whomping whillikers. After analyzing those chapters, even skillful use of repetition makes me wince.

For your reading pleasure, here are the relevant chapter bits:

Chapter n, POV Alpha

[no nits in first 3 ¶]

… He knew that … He knew that …

[1 ¶ without nits]

… He might have … He might have …

… Let [her] be … Let her … Let her …

[1 ¶]

He knew that he was … He knew that he was … He knew that he must …

But must he … Must he … Would he not serve [them] better … would he not serve them better if …

[5 ¶]

… the smell of [something] reminded him of [thing]. The [thing] of … The [thing] of … The [thing] of …

[1 ¶]

… It couldn’t hurt to … Couldn’t hurt at all.

[2 ¶]

… that did not even count [those] who had labored … who had struggled …

[2 ¶]

All but eight of [them] had been … All but eight worked …

… He could remember [other] times. Times when [it] had not needed to …, had not needed to … Times when it did not need to …

[4 ¶]

… [they] would not … Not now. Not when …

[1 ¶]

… She had no right to … She had no right to … Not if she … Not if she …

[7 ¶]

… At least she knew … At least she was prepared …

[1 ¶]

… She must be aware that … She must know that … She must know that …

[1 ¶]

… [He] remembered … He remembered …

[17 ¶]

Of course there was … Of course he had …

[2 ¶]

… [He] saw more. He saw … He saw … He saw …

[4 ¶]

… What else had changed … What other rules must he …

… Why give her … Why recognize any …

[1 ¶]

Nothing was said. No words were exchanged. …

[1 ¶]

… she did desire to submit to him, to submit to the …

[1 ¶]

… they were pleased that … they would be more pleased before … They would be more impressed when …

[1 ¶]

Argument. She was always arguing. She was always … you can know that? You can know …

[1 ¶]

Pretty words … Pretty words … [He] did not like … He did not like …

[11 ¶]

[It] had forfeited that right when it destroyed … when it ordered …

Patience … Patience was all that he required. … Eventually he would return … Eventually he would be back …

… only a [short time] had passed, despite the [thing] of [something], despite the [thing] of [something] … you shall stay with [her], stay with [them] … you shall report to [place]. You shall report to [her] …

[2 ¶]

He saw … He watched … She knew what … She knew how …

… [She], who had given her life … who had struggled …

[3 ¶]

… That he could not do. Not yet. Not publicly. …

… [she] thought the … She thought that …

[1 ¶]

… disclaiming any certainty, any knowledge, any belief …

[5 ¶]

[He] saw the instant that … He saw the way … the way that …

… as if she were once again the … once again the …

[7 ¶]

… He wanted her to … he wanted her to … She had accepted … She had opened …

… You shall not correspond … You shall not send him any letter …

[3 ¶]

… Do you think … Do you think …

[1 ¶]

Bargaining. Always bargaining. … One letter. One sheet …

[6 ¶]

… I am the … I am the … I am the one who … I am the one who … I am the …

He saw … He saw that she wanted to … She wanted to … She wanted to … She wanted to …

… She must yield … She must understand …

[3 ¶]

He met her eyes, the [color] eyes that … Those eyes had witnessed … They had witnessed … They had witnessed … They had witnessed …

… only from today forward. Only in … Only in …

[1 ¶]

… [He] must accept … He must welcome … wanting her gone, wanting her destroyed, wanting her utterly ruined …

[1 ¶]

… for all that she had done, for all that she had …

[1 ¶]

… [He] saw them … He saw them … both were worried … Both resented … Both recognized …

… Welcome … Welcome …

[end of chapter]

Chapter n+1, POV Beta

[1 ¶]

… She had done it. She had … Despite a [person], … despite a [different person], despite a [third person], she had …

… he had … He had … He had … He had … He had

… [They] had tried to … They had tried to … tried not to …

But how … How many times … How many times … And how many times …

… She did not care … She did not care …

[2 ¶]

… They remained … They remained …

[1 ¶]

… He understood. He appreciated her. He knew …

[2 ¶]

… She did not want to … She did not want to …

No one … No one … Thousands of [people] … thousands of [different word for same people] …

[6 ¶]

… with power. The power of the … The power of the …

… [She] wanted to … she wanted to …

[about 20 more pages; not nitpicked]

Chapter n+2, POV Gamma

[5 ¶]

… She could not remember how long she had … how long she had …

[11 ¶]

… Why are you … Why are you …

[5 ¶]

“I don’t like to see you … I don’t like to see you …

[11 ¶]

… He could at least … forbidden to touch him, forbidden by … [he] could at least …

[10 ¶]

… she knew that he wanted to … he wanted to …

This was the … This was the … Even if she were … Even if she were … Even if she were …

[5 ¶]

… She wanted … She wanted …

[5 ¶]

She knew that he did not have to … He did not need to … He did not need to …

[about 20 more pages; not nitpicked]