Sunday, May 24, 2015

Author Resources: Repeat Words

Yesterday, we talked about this briefly, in How to: Submit to a Publisher. One of the most vital parts of editing is to make sure you keep it simple and get to the point. So here's a list to help you do that.

When you're editing, there are a million words that we tend to write, that are not needed in a novel. Some are obscure words that we generally use in speech, but which don't belong in writing, but others are purely superfluous junk that can and should be cut out, to make your writing cleaner - and help you stay under a certain word count. (Looks to self - I'm notorious for being over word count)
Here's a list of words and phrases that I've found it useful to cut out or change. I'm not saying to never use them, but to use them wisely. Some are only suitable when using a historical speech pattern (as my recent WIP requires):
☆ just
☆ stuff
☆ got
☆ again
☆ before
☆ nearly
☆ even
☆ thing/s
☆ went
☆ very
☆ used to
☆ have got
☆ almost
☆ quite
☆ pretty much
☆ do not/will not/has not
☆ on account of
☆ changing can't/don't/won't/I'm/I'll/he'll/he's to cannot, do not, will not, would never, I am, he will, he is -> for a historical text
☆ as if
☆ plus
☆ kind of/sort of
☆ each and every
☆ as to whether
☆ most words ending in 'lly' unless necessary (thankfully, faithfully, actually, really, casually, basically, totally, essentially)
☆ a little
☆ and also
☆ also
☆ not sure -> unsure, uncertain, not convinced
☆ whatever it was -> whichever
☆ going to have to -> must
☆ not either -> neither
☆ instead of
☆ however
☆ ironically
☆ incidentally
☆ more over
☆ descriptive words that tend to be over used (smile/d, tease/d, chuckle/d, frown/ed, light/ly, tender/ly, gentle, gently, soft/ly, sweet/ly, figure/ed, glance/d, quiet/ly, shrug/ged, stare/d, look/ed, gaze/d)
☆ words in place of said that can be over used (sigh/ed, laugh/ed, guess/ed, agree/d, wonder/ed, admit/ted, explain/ed, ask/ed, realise/d, groan/ed, complained, disapproved, insisted, promised, confessed)
☆ fine
☆ okay
☆ mostly
☆ husband/wife (especially in a same-sex relationship story)
☆ bloody
☆ lover
☆ stunning/beautiful/gorgeous/pretty/attractive/sexy
☆ companion
☆ good
☆ great
☆ boyfriend/girlfriend (also important in a same sex relationship story)
☆ too many he's or she's -> it gets confusing, when trying to figure out which characters are speaking/thinking
☆ close to
☆ appears/seems
☆ nearly
☆ somewhat/somehow
☆ ly words - suddenly/finally/eventually
☆ which is/that has
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