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May 09

Scrivener Saturday: Word Frequency Redo

[warning]I’ve got a massive writing deadline on 5/15, so this week’s Scrivener Saturday will be a repeat topic. I added more to it though, so enjoy![/warning]

Scrivener Saturday: Word Frequency


One of the most difficult parts of writing is making sure that you use variety in your word choice and that you avoid redundancy. To help with word choice and word frequency,  Scrivener has a text statistics option which will not only give you general statistics about your project, but will tell you word frequency. If you see that you’ve used the word just 100 times in your chapter, that’s not a good sign! (See screenshot below.)

Text Scrivener

To get to the list, go to PROJECT –> TEXT STATISTICS. Once the screen comes up, just click on the down arrow next to Word Frequency to see the list.

[important]TIP: If you select all your text files, you can view the text statistics for the entire project, not just the current chapter/scene.[/important]

Five Ways to Use This in Revisions:

  1. Use it to eliminate qualifiers, which usually indicate a weak adjective or noun, if you notice you’re using them too much (Words such as just, always, really, fairly, indeed, kind of, sort of, less, a little, a whole lot, more, quite, rather, somewhat, too, very, etc.)
  2. Use it to ensure your not relying too heavily upon adverbs, which should be used sparingly
  3. Use it to ensure deep POV (check for heavy usage of words like thought, saw, heard, felt, looked, knew, wondered, realized, watched, noticed, decided, sounded)
  4. Use it to eliminate weak word choice (began to, started to, the fact that, whether or not, thing, nearly, almost, etc.)
  5. Use it to eliminate passive voice by looking at how often you use To Be verbs. (Great article here, by the way, on how to do this if you need help.)

What I love about this feature: Seeing which words I over use.

Wish List: I do wish I could sort the words by parts of speech or even see a list of how many adverbs I’ve used in a document or project.


Scrivener Saturday posts are done every two weeks on Saturday and cover whatever weird tips Raven has found useful in using the writing software, Scrivener, by Literature and Latte.

Check out the entire series of Scrivener Saturday posts here.

About the author

Raven Oak

Bestselling science fiction & fantasy author Raven Oak is best known for Amaskan’s Blood, Class-M Exile, and the collection Joy to the Worlds: Mysterious Speculative Fiction for the Holidays.

She spent most of her K-12 education doodling stories and 500 page monstrosities that are forever locked away in a filing cabinet. When she's not writing, she's getting her game on, enjoying cartography, or staring at the ocean.

She lives in Seattle, WA with her husband, and their three kitties who enjoy lounging across the keyboard when writing deadlines approach.

2 comments
spanglelisa
spanglelisa

Glad I've found you, Raven Oak! These Scrivener posts look really useful. I'm relatively new to using it but idon'thave time to work out all these cool features. Thank you for sharing, Lisa

kaonevar
kaonevar moderator

@spanglelisa No problem! There are a million sites out there that deal with how to use Scrivener. I've tried to keep my bi-weekly posts as little tips I would've loved to have known when I began learning it so long ago. :)