Posted by: Katie B | November 19, 2010

Words to Avoid

Every time I attend a writing seminar I come across another list of word use “dos and don’ts”.  I’ve compiled a list of the don’ts and thought I would share it with you.  If your manuscript is riddled with these terms, you’ve labeled yourself an amateur.  Tough as it may be, removing the offensive word will tighten your work.  Test yourself and replaced what you find with flowing description of your own.

Run, don’t hesitate, and delete the following:

  • Any adverb (ly)
  • Felt, knew, heard, realized, appeared, saw, looked

I’ve heard some editors claim they throw out any manuscript that has the word felt in the first fifty pages.  I kid you not.

Even the best works include the following, but use them as infrequently as possible.

  • Any form of the verb “to be”
  • There is / There are
  • And the below extended list
A lot
And also
Appeared
Ascertain the location of
Attractive
Basically
Considered to be
Embarrassing
Essentially
Fabulous
Fascinating
Feel 
Handsome
Heard
Hilarious
I wouldn’t be surprised if
In actual point of fact
In terms of
Interesting
Irregardless
It just might turn out
It seems to me
Just
Kind of
Knew
Looked
Momentous
Necessitate
Not withstanding the fact that
Oddly enough
Only
Powerful
Quite
Realized
Really
Saw
Simply
Sort of
Stupid
There is, There are
Think
To Be:  Am, Is, Are, Was, Were, Be, Being, Been
Totally
Very
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