I love to write, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. However, it was only recently that I became brave enough to publish my writing for other people to read. Thanks to a very dear friend who helped me successfully run the gauntlet of editing my manuscript, my books are now in print with more on the way.
During the editing process, something became apparently clear to me. I overuse several words. My editor friend reassured me that this was normal, that all writers have words that they gravitate too. Mine in this case was slightly. With her help and minute changes throughout the manuscript, I was able to whittle the amount of slightly’s down to the appropriate number. There were several places where the word slightly was indeed the correct choice, but the majority were misplaced.
So my Tuesday tip to you is this. With an open mind, go back through your writing and see if there are any words that you gravitate to. If you don’t find them, congratulations. If you do, as you most likely will, don’t be frustrated. Think of this as an opportunity to expand both your vocabulary and your characters. Does this one word always appear with a certain character? For example, in “Princess Bride”, Vizzini was always using the word “Inconceivable”
With a little bit of time and patience, you can usually work these overused words out and come up with a stronger story for it.
So what is a word that you find yourself overusing?