Thursday, July 5, 2012

Words To Avoid

One of the best things that ever happened to my writing was joining a critique group.


They catch all of those pesky little words that I use too much, or words I really should not use at all. I edited that last sentence of those words and then added them in to show you how often and easily they creep into my writing.

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I have a short list in "Currently Editing" folder.
  • that
  • just
  • seem
  • like
  • really
  • feel
  • start
  • already
  • felt 
  • very
This worked fine - for a while. Then a few months back I read a post by Rachelle Gardner about cutting words. Although her post was about cutting words in an attempt to cut word count, I applied it to advice I've seen numerous times on agent and editor blogs.

Cut unnecessary words. 
Every word counts. 

Gardner gives a list which I have now plucked more words from to add to my own list. 
  • actually
  • almost
  • appears
  • basically
  • close to
  • eventually 
  • exactly
  • finally
  • kind of
  • nearly
  • practically
  • simply
  • somehow
  • somewhat
  • suddenly
  • truly
  • utterly
She lists more, but these are the ones which tend to sneak into my writing more than the others.  And, leaving them out only tightens my sentences.

Your Turn -> What words sneak into your writing too often? 

1 comment:

  1. Ahh! Her list has a lot of those pesky adverbs I've always been told to try and stay away from.

    I find on a re-read of a first draft, I have a ton of instances where the word "that" can be removed. I wonder if I use it as frequently in actual speech. I'll have to start paying more attention!

    Great post :)