This chapter is about connecting ideas together. For many writers, particularly not very experienced ones, using transitions can feel artificial, but it is very helpful for your reader. It gives them road marks to follow your train of thought, as they try to get to the destination you want them to reach.
Another thing that tends to happen to people who are not comfortable writers is that they write something, and then they never want to see it again. “Phew!” they say, “I’m finally done with that.” They don’t edit. They don’t proof read. they don’t revise. Then they wonder, “why am I not succeeding?” Writing is a performance art. It requires practice. It requires feedback. It requires self-reflection. It requires acknowledging our weaknesses and trying to fix them.
Make sure you read over the list of transition words on pages 105-106. Try using them in your writing. When you do so, look them up to make sure you’re usingg them correctly. many smart people don’t necessarily understand the specific functions of each unique word.
Pointing words, like ‘this” and “that” can also be helpful in allowing readers to follow your ideas from one sentence to another. Please keep in mind that if they can’t follow what you’re saying, you’re wasting your time.
I think repeating key words & phrases is useful, and, honestly, sometimes a better choice than using every alternative from the thesaurus one after another. Mostly, this is because each alternative in the thesaurus has a slightly different connotation, and if you haven’t done the work to understand that, your writing will come off as bizarre and confusing. That said, deliberating setting out to use the same word over and over isn’t ideal. Most of us aren’t as skillful or practiced with language as, say, Martin Luther King, Jr., and may not be able to achieve the same effects through repetition.
What does the text mean by “repeat yourself with a difference”? What other questions do you have?