Quote: “You rewrite it, that’s how you write it. You rewrite the rewrite, then prune that and add other stuff.” Garrison Keillor in the New York Times Magazine.
Figure of Speech: ploce, the subtle repetition. From the Greek, meaning “braiding.”
Rarely have we seen a better example of a ploce — a figure that repeats words with slight changes in connotation, emphasis, or case. Keillor does not just describe how to write a movie script; he evokes the act by repeating the word “rewrite” and using it a little differently each time. The result is a sentence that seems to rewrite itself as you read it.
Not to mention excellent advice. Figaro might take it someday.
Snappy Answer: “That last clause is a little clunky. Can you rewrite it?”