I wish I could tell you that's what happened with my books. It's not that simple. Bill Murray's character Phil has to overcome self-interest and selfishness. My books have to overcome a multi-layered set of handicaps.
- Thematic repetition - I write about finding your place in the world, so all my stories have that theme running through them somewhere. I keep hoping I'll move on, but it hasn't happened yet.
- Characters having to learn to accept themselves - I suppose this is common stuff. It's part of the character arc, right? If we accepted ourselves fully, we'd have no impetus for change and then there'd be no character arc. But still. So far, every book has this running through it, too.
- Repetitive phrases/gestures - this is purely a relic of my brain and my writing process. I'm trying to write fast, to get a really crappy draft down asap. That means I don't stop to think about how else I could have said something. Apparently, this is how you end up with 300+ exclamation points in a manuscript. Who knew.
- Dark night of this writer's soul. Every book, there comes a point where I stop dead and stare at the carcass of my draft with all the bones sticking out and the sinews attached in places that make no sense and I boggle at it wondering what the hell I was thinking. We're there now. I'll get through it, usually by rearranging points of view and raising stakes.
I'm looking forward to that part.