Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Edit 7: Overused Words

Alright folks, we’ve made it through the darkness of the hardest edits. All of the restructuring and character arcing and *shudder* description adding is done with. And now we’re down to the details. The line editing stuff. It’s much easier.

Kind of.

Crack out the find app on word. It’s time to kill the over used words.

Everyone has those words that they rely on a little too much. And in the case of my editor, she marked them, told me exactly how many times I had used them, and told me the number of times I was allowed to use them.

Bless her for doing that, but it is hard sometimes to come up with synonyms to words you’re so used to using.

My personal overused words and phrases include:

Smirked
Smiled
Grinned
For a moment
Glanced
Yeah, well or right (especially at the beginning of dialogue)
Was or were

Those last words are killer because not only are they overused but often they’re a sign of weak writing. Often times they are used in passive voice or in place of a stronger verb. But my first drafts are full of them because, well it’s a crap draft! Its allowed to suck as long as I fix it later.


I spend quite a bit of time deleting or replacing the ‘was’ and ‘were’s of my MS. But it always looks better for it. What are your over used words?

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