Yeah. It’s my new nemesis. Oh, I’ve had other nemeses’ in the past, but “Yeah” has just become the granddaddy of them all.
I’m editing out overused words in my manuscript, and while I was searching for “Oh” I noticed quite a few “Oh yeahs” So I jotted down the word “yeah” at the end of my list to take a look at later.
Imagine my surprise, when sitting down to what I THOUGHT would be a short editing session, and I find that I’ve used the word “yeah” 223 times in a 246 page manuscript.
And it’s not even like “yeah” appears once a page. There are several pages in a row that have no occurrences of “yeah” whatsoever. And then the next page is all lit up with five yellow highlights.
How did this happen? – And how did none of my beta’s not even mention it?
One of my really strong points is dialog. I can “hear” my characters talk, and I just transcribe. When both of your main characters are teenagers, the word “yeah” seems to pop out a lot, and it SOUNDS absolutely fine, even though repeated.
But I’m sure a publisher wouldn’t be so enthusiastic about so many “yeahs” on a page.
Through editing, I cut it down from 223 to 67. A lot of them still appear multiple times on a page, but I think they need to stay this way to keep the “voice” of the characters intact. And hey, they are teenagers. They say “yeah”, ya know?
In my final read for flow, I will make special notice of them, and continue to trim them away wherever possible.