by Connie S. Hall
Do you search for unnecessary words in your stories? I haven’t always taken the time to look for words I know I shouldn’t use, but now I realize it’s an essential part of writing.
I can’t believe how much smoother my story sounds without the extra words. If I take time to search for the weak modifiers–just, so, such, very, really, even, at all, anyway, some and all the words ending in ly, my story moves faster. How could I be so dumb to think I write good enough that I don’t have to do a search?
Another thing I do frequently is over use some of the verbs–come, go, went, get, said, look, shouted and laughed. I don’t usually have trouble with superfluous beginnings. For some reason I learned to not use them.
I still have trouble with the hedging words–usually, probably, maybe, rather, fairly, perhaps, sort of, kind of, somewhat, quite, a little, look, seem, and almost. When I take the time to search for them and use my delete key or a different word my story flows better.
There is a list of taboo words such as–has, had, is, are, was, were, be, been, a lot, and really. I can get rid of many of them, but others have to stay. Rewriting sentences to make the story flow smooth can be fun. Since I started to hunt for unnecessary words, my writing has improved. I find myself immediately going back and deleting words such as just, very, and words ending in ‘ly’.
The one thing I’ve learned is “I’m not the best I can be yet.” I hope someday I will be a better writer. Rules are broken every time I pick up a book to read. How do they get their book published? I don’t know, but if I’m going to make it, I want my book to be good. That means I have to search for all the no-no words.