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  Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde (November 7, 2006)

Don't Be Afraid to Repeat!

Elie Wiesel, in the following excerpt from Night, repeats "Never shall I forget" seven times (a total of 28 words used in 124, or roughly a quarter of the words). The example speaks for itself. What Wiesel says bears repeating and, at the same time, teaches us a lesson in repetition.

[ Cover of Wiesel's 'Night' ]Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky.

Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever.

Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never. —Elie Wiesel, from a wall at The United States Holocaust Museum


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