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Author: Subject: 43 Words You Should Cut From Your Writing Immediately
RobertArend
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[*] posted on 10/23/2015 at 01:42 PM
43 Words You Should Cut From Your Writing Immediately


"When I’m writing a novel, one of my last drafts focuses on cutting these useless words. Removing them helps speed up the pacing of both action and dialogue, and makes your work more polished and professional. While this might not be the ultimate list of all words you should remove, these are the ones I look for when I’m doing revisions, so I thought other writers out there would find this helpful."__Diana Urban, author

Really, very. These are useless modifiers. You should be able to find stronger verbs or adjectives for whatever you’re trying to enhance. For example, “He ran very quickly along the really long field.” can be, “He sprinted across the vast field.”

That. If a sentence still makes sense after removing “that,” delete it. For example, “This is the most amazing blog post that I’ve ever read.” can be, “This is the most amazing blog post I’ve ever read.”

Just. I have a hard time removing “just,” especially in dialogue. But for the most part, you don’t need it, and too many can make your dialogue or prose repetitive.

Then. When showing a sequence of events, either remove “then” or try using “and” instead of “then.” Using “then” frequently sounds repetitive and even juvenile. “I shut the car door, then tripped over the sidewalk. Then Bob pointed and laughed, and then my cheeks flushed.” sounds better as, “I shut the car door and tripped over the sidewalk. My cheeks flushed as Bob pointed and laughed.”

Check-out the rest of those words HERE: http://dianaurban.com/words-you-should-cut-from-your-writing-immedi...

Diana Urban works can be found HERE: http://dianaurban.com/books




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Michy
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[*] posted on 10/23/2015 at 02:42 PM


I saw this one on FB this morning and went to the link thinking I wouldn't like the article, but ended up pretty much agreeing with everything it said!

thanks for posting it here!


[Edited on 10-23-2015 by Michy]




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[*] posted on 10/24/2015 at 02:23 PM


I've read similar lists before, but still find it useful advice that needs to be repeated. "Just" is my big bug-a-boo. I just can't remember to leave it out!






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[*] posted on 10/24/2015 at 09:57 PM


Just should probably only be used in dialogue or when you mean someone is being just and true--sort of as a legal term. We use it otherwise, but that's common with English. Tons of stuff we use colloquially that shouldn't be in our text in writing.

But all that gets thrown out if you're doing first person, close perspective--where it's like a narrative. Like Rissa's book, UNREVELATIONS. She wrote it from the perspective of the main character--and I like it, because it allows us to really get to know the inner thoughts and get to know Sara really well, and I like the quirky, snarky sarcasm of her internal dialogue, 'cause it's how I think inside my own head!

Anyway, there are times and places to break these rules, definitely, but for standard writing, this is a great list to help guide a writer to making writing stronger.



[Edited on 10-25-2015 by Michy]




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[*] posted on 10/25/2015 at 07:50 AM


"That" is my biggest demon.
Dug the article.




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chrisstevenson
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[*] posted on 10/25/2015 at 03:59 PM


I love this list. It came at the perfect time for the beginning of my edit. I agree with almost everything three and I'm happy to use it in conjunction with my story.

I'm deathly afraid of the word "was" and I have eliminated it almost completely from my text. Can somebody confirm if I've done the right thing, or is "was" a fairly common connector that is safe to use in most or some circumstances?

[Edited on 10/25/2015 by chrisstevenson]




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[*] posted on 10/25/2015 at 04:33 PM


Was is fine when it's used a simple past tense. It's when it's used as a linking verb for passive voice that it's a problem or when it's used to be an 'ing'er, instead of the more active, strong voice.

For example: Bill was tall.

Simple past tense. This is the perfect way to use it.

Bill threw the ball.

This is a simple sentence, just right like it is.

The ball was thrown by Bill.

This is where 'was' gets in trouble--this makes the sentence passive voice, when the subject of the sentence RECEIVES the action instead of performing it.

Bill was throwing the ball.

This is the 'ing'er I told you about. It's much better to change to the active, stronger voice: Bill threw the ball.

So when you use it, just be sure it's simple past tense. Otherwise, try for a stronger form of sentence.






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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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[*] posted on 10/26/2015 at 09:06 PM


Thanks, that clarifies things. So far, it looks like my passive is cut way down. At least in these last three books. I'm still going to refer to those pesky 43 for my second book, which will guarantee a better outcome.



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http://guerrillawarfareforwriters.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2...

A Writer is…
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But the heart that beats within his breast
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[*] posted on 4/7/2016 at 05:59 AM


Thanks for sharing with us this useful information.




                              

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