Synonyms, antonyms and echo words

WordsWriters are plagued with the stigma of echo words. Critique groups and editors naysay a word duplicated in a paragraph; some so harsh as to declare no repetition on a single page. I searched for synonyms to avoid this conflict in my mystery novel in progress.

An online dictionary declares synonym to be the “same, or almost the same, as another word in the same language . . .” Aha! This reference source failed the echo word test.

I entered “antonym” in the search box of a synonym website.

Sorry, I could not find synonyms for ‘antonym’.

It can’t be that difficult. If synonym is the reverse of antonym, then “opposite” must be the synonym.

Another website asserts “parallel” as the synonym and “unlike” as the antonym. That sent me on a mission to change the subplot in my mystery novel.

My protagonist (hero) who solves a homicide by stabbing, is fortunate to have “murder, killing, shooting, or stabbing” as acceptable synonyms. The antonym for protagonist is “antagonist” (adversary/opponent). The synonym is “friend.”

Editing all the synonyms proved to be too much, so I gave the story an opposites-attract twist when a romantic involvement between the cop and the killer explodes and makes friends (synonym) enemies (antonym).

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