Just a quick one.
Among other excellent feedback from my friend Steve on ASCENSION POINT was this gem: “If you use the word ‘smiled’ one more time I will cry.”
“Oh, really?” thinks the author. “I’m sure he’s exaggerat- oh.”
135 times, in 88,000 words.
That’s 0.15%, and would only be acceptable if there were fewer than 700 words in the English language. And maybe not even then.