LibreOffice is my office suite of choice for writing my novels. As I write, I try very hard to not repeat words and/or phrases within a paragraph or adjacent paragraphs. However, it’s not always easy to look at a document with the naked eye and get a solid grasp of the overall picture.
What words have I used the most within a manuscript? That’s an important question to ask…and one my editor would just love for me to answer. You see, every writer has their “crutch words and phrases.” For example, I was recently called out by my editor for using moment too often. Now, when viewing a document via LibreOffice’s Statistical Analysis tool, I find that I’ve used moment in only 0.6% of the document. Although that might sound like a low instance, when you have a word that’s memorable, it might behoove you to make a few edits to lower that percentage. In that same document, I found the following:
- door 1.4%
- hand 1.3%
- man 1.4%
- time 1.3%
- man 1.2%
- thing 1.0%
- woman 1.0%
The list goes on and on.
With the help of this tool, I can get a fairly clear idea of what words I’ve overused within a document and set about changing some of them to lower the percentage.
How do you do it? Let me show you.
How to refine your writing with LibreOffice’s tool
What you’ll need: To run a statistical analysis of your document, you’ll need an up-to-date version of LibreOffice installed on your platform of choice (Linux, MacOS, or Windows) and a document to check. That’s it. Let’s run that check.
Of course, what an acceptable percentage or difficulty level is up to you (or your editor). But this tool certainly makes it easier to get a head start on improving your documents or manuscripts even before they go through that first round of edits.