Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Writing Wednesday - Pesky Words
To some writers editing is a dreaded part of writing, others look forward to it.
I like editing, because that is when I attempt to make my so-so manuscript into a better story.
I am not very good with grammar. I sometimes have a tendency to write the way I talk.
One aid to editing I use a lot is the find button. It is very helpful in locating those troublesome overused words.
When my manuscript is complete. I click on the find button and search for those troublesome words.
down and up - If the verb implies down or up, "down" and "up" are unnecessary words.
example: "He stood up," should be "He stood."
out - If the verb implies out, "out" is unnecessary.
example: "The cloth was spread out over the table," should be "The cloth was spread over the table."
began and started -
example: "He lifted his pencil and started to write," should be "He lifted his pencil and wrote."
to the and to be often causes wordiness.
example: "He gave her the key to the house," should be "He gave her the house key."
suddenly is seldom needed.
example: "Suddenly the bull lurched forward," should be "The bull lurched forward."
could and would
example: change "He could see her" to "He saw her."
that is a word we all overuse. Sometimes it is necessary and sometimes it is not. Try the sentence without it and see if it means the same.
just is another word we all overuse.
was and other linking verbs. Try using a stronger action verb.
Since I started writing, I catch myself editing everything I read. It drives me crazy.
I have a tendency to use that and just a lot. Another word I use a lot is it. Instead of stating what I am talking about, I say it. I have been told this is not always a good thing.
What word or words do you overuse?