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Author: Subject: overused modifiers/qualifiers
Ken
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[*] posted on 4/12/2014 at 09:59 AM
overused modifiers/qualifiers


I recently had someone take a look at my current WIP. One of the most critical comments they made was that I overused modifiers/qualifiers such as almost, simply, certainly and nearly (I also went through and reduced the number of times I used 'very' to the bare minimum). Thank goodness MS Word has the 'Find' option. It was easy to go through and either eliminate or alter these words.

Is there someplace I can find a more complete list of overused modifiers, or is this something I just have to work at?




Ken,
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Skwerly
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[*] posted on 4/12/2014 at 01:01 PM


Ehhhh, I'd probably spend some time with Google. :)



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Michy
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[*] posted on 4/12/2014 at 01:23 PM


Basically, any word that ends in LY is a word you probably want to eliminate.

Mark Twain once said of the word 'very' that if you take your manuscript and change every single instance of the word 'very' to the word 'damn', your editor can find it easier and remove it.

Very is a horrible modifier, because it doesn't tell you anything. There are definitely better ways of describing how much of something there is.

'ly' adverbs are cheating. They are telling, not showing, most of the time, so you can find strong descriptors for that. If you do a 'find' for just 'ly', you can probably find quite a few adverb modifiers that way.

Adverbs aren't necessarily a bad thing, all the time, but you want to make sure you're not using them to be lazy in relaying information to the reader.




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Michy
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Michy
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[*] posted on 4/12/2014 at 01:28 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Skwerly  
Ehhhh, I'd probably spend some time with Google. :)


Hey, Derek, we're a writers forum where writers come to get advice about how to write and to get help from their peers about writing.

When someone Googles for help, they should find us--and we're here to help... that's what a writers forum is all about, so this is where he should come to ask these questions.

(edited to remove the darned apostrophe from Googles.... sheesh. I know better!)

[Edited on 4-12-2014 by Michy]




Love and stuff,
Michy
~~Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations~~


Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again." James R. Cook

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