C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

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Editing post: Words to do without

Harbour of Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia

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Monday morning I woke at 4:17 a.m. to a thunderclap. The storm had knocked out our phone and satellite already. And a A story poured like liquid gold into my mind. The premise was there appeared and all I had to do was pull the string to find where the thread ended up. Before I pulled myself out of bed, I had my story pretty much worked out.

I went right to work on it when I got up. I’ve been editing a lot and writing less, so although I was prepped, I had to warm up to my story. I found myself writing wrote a paragraph or two, doubling doubled back, revising revised, then moving moved forward. It’s not ideal for me, but since I had such a clear idea I wanted to match that vision as closely as I could. right away.

And I noticed I have tics. All writers have them. I grew up in Nova Scotia, so when I speak or write a sentence (the first time) I seem incapable of writing “The house was across the street from the store.” I have to write, “The house was right across the street from the store.” Right is my tic.

And “just”. Just is sadly ubiquitous. “I just thought…” “He had just dropped his underwear on the floor when…” There is a place and a time for “just” but it shouldn’t be littered everywhere. It’s a word you can often do without.

Like “that”. It’s also a word that you can often do without.

Look for words you can do without.

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Filed under: ebooks, Editing, writing tips, , ,

3 Responses

  1. And. Then. Was. But. Really. Very.

    What a great reminder. Thank you.

  2. Susan Landis-Steward says:

    I agree with all of this. Although, as an editor, I really do want to see “that” when it’s used correctly. Instead of “which.” In grad school, we called it ” going on a which hunt.” Almost everyone uses which when they should use that.

    Great post. “Just” is my particular vice. I’ve got a beta who is slapping it out of me.

  3. Great reminder. We are all guilty of overusing a word or two.

    I have a bad habit of using “just” all the time. I also use “and” a lot instead of making two separate sentences. I’m getting better at it.

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