Dan, I’m going to get right to the point: you used the word throngs so many times in your latest book, Inferno, that I lost count.
Why Dan? Why are there throngs of people everywhere that Robert Langdon goes? There are throngs of people in Venice, throngs in St. Marks Square, throngs in Istanbul, and so many throngs in Florence I can’t even talk about it. I know, you change it up a little near the end – you use the word throng instead.
I admit, I spoke to a few other people about this and they didn’t seem to notice. But I noticed, Dan. Do you want to know why? Because throngs is my least favorite word in the entire English language.
I know, I’m blaming your editor for not catching this. He’s the scapegoat here. But Dan, ultimately I have to put some of the blame on your shoulders. There are other words you can use to describe crowds of people. How about mobs, masses, hordes, or bunches. Please have a look at Thesauras.com, or if you prefer I’ll send you a hard copy (email me your address).
I have to point out a couple of other problems with Inferno, Dan, like the fact that Robert Langdon has this strange fight or flight response. Instead of wondering, “How the hell am I going to get out of here?” – and then getting the hell out – he stops to take in every minute detail of every building and piece of artwork that he comes across.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the historical facts, the riddles, and the futuristic science that screams Dan Brown. But did you realize that we’ve been to Italy before? Angels and Demons, Dan. I know, you’ve written multiple best sellers and it can get tricky, but have a look through Langdon’s passport – there are other interesting countries and noteworthy pieces of art to be found.
So Dan, it’s time to toss the editor and quite possibly the agent too. And for the next book, try to choose a quiet, remote location, one where you won’t be tempted to use that dreaded word, throngs, over and over again.