Thursday, 3 August 2017

Editing Tips for Writers: Overused Words

In today’s Editing Tip I wish to highlight some of those overused words, many of which are unnecessary filler, that make their way into your prose. This is fine in a first draft, but you should try to weed them out when you edit prior to submission or publication.

I suggest doing a Find on each. Wherever you see one highlighted, review the sentence to see if the word is necessary for comprehension. If it is, leave it in. If not, either strike it out completely or replace with a stronger term (e.g. very tired could become exhausted).

Words to search for include very, really, fairly, and just. In addition to these, if there are certain words for which you know you have a fondness, remember to search for those too and replace some of them with synonyms to avoid repetition. E.g. Do all your characters constantly 'look' and 'walk'?