Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bad Habits

We all have our bad habits when it comes to our own writing (I'm a comma-phobic). But a bad habit that a lot of us suffer from, at least in our early drafts, is the unnecessary words. Our writing may be lazy because of these words.

Here are some examples:

Just very

Nearly almost

'ly' words

Thing/Stuff

Anyway/Because

any word you overuse

Now, of course, there are always exceptions. The word you chose might be the just fine and there's no need to change it. But when you're revising make sure you always select the strongest word possible.

3 comments:

elizabethlloyd said...

I was devastated the day I realized how often I use the word "apparently" (in real life as well as in writing), but it was also a big breakthrough because I could focus on limiting my usage. Of course, I've probably replaced it with something equally problematic... :)

Samantha said...

Elizabeth - It's always great when you find those breakthrough moments. I know a word I tend to overuse in my writing is 'really'. Even though I try to turn off my inner editor when I'm doing a first draft, if I catch myself typing that word, I'll stop and try to remove it.

Sheila said...

I overuse "really" too. Another one of mine is "seem". If something seems like something else to a character, then just say it. "The couch seemed to have seen many better days" can just be "The couch had seen many better days."