Tuesday, November 12, 2013

#Wwow - Top 15 Overused Words in a Manuscript #wordchoice #fillerwords #editing #amediting

Choosing Words that Make Your Writing a Masterpiece

How do you choose the best words for your writing? Do you write and then go back to edit the words? Are you one of those brilliant writers who has a dictionary/thesaurus embedded in your brain and the right word comes when summoned?

As I work on my newest WIP, I can tell when I am having a bad day. I use and reuse the same words or phrases all the time. Here are my favorites this week:

Come on!
Why all my characters are saying this is beyond me!

I promise to try not to use this anymore as a tag. My characters are just happy!

I was just saying...
I don't even know where or why this came about.

Generally, most authors keep a list of overused, passive or filler words to run through their manuscripts as they do final edits/revisions. To tighten your writing, search for the following words: 

  1. very
  2. -ing words
  3. just
  4. really
  5. simply
  6. started to
  7. began to
  8. all adverbs
  9. rather
  10. feel/felt
  11. saw
  12. realize
  13. heard
  14. was/were
  15. that
Even better, try these free online tools to help tighten your writing:

Now, for a bit of fun for those of you with a sense of humor. In honor of WORD CHOICE, check out this funny commercial (WARNING: Language Advisory)

I'd say those word choices are selective! 

How about you? What are your favorite words when you write? Which words have you overused? 

Melinda Dozier is the author of Love and Other Games: Trouble with Gold and Breaking the Rules available from Swoon Romance and Crimson Romance.