Somewhere in the process of writing Galileo's Daughter, I came up with a method that helped me avoid repeating unusual words or phrases. Although a simple "Find" command can turn up all the inadvertent repetitions in an article or a chapter, "Find" falls short in the face of a lengthy book project with several parts. In a composition notebook with alphabet tabs, I entered words that might call attention to themselves, along with the numbers of the chapters in which they appeared. The hard part was remembering to make the entries, but after a while it became habit. I used different pages of the same notebook to achieve the same goal with The Planets. Now I keep my concordance on the computer, where it's handier and easier to alphabetize.
Although I have no need to look back at the concordances of previous books, reviewing them recalls the feeling of immersion in those subjects. In Galileo's world, words like "abstruse," "bellowed," and "capacious" found their places. The Solar System accommodated "dazzle," "extremophile," and "fumarole."
The new book belongs to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I'm only at the halfway point, but have already found my first opportunities to use "accouterments," "aflutter," and "unbosom." The list of "a" words, read aloud, sounds a little like a Latin conjugation: alas, alight, allot, allow, amass, apace, avow . . . .