13 Words or Phrases To Remove From Your Writing

February 17, 2015 by No Comments

13 Words or Phrases To Remove From Your Writing

We have said before and we will say again that the purpose of the first draft is to exist which means, for the only time in the writing process all rules can go out of the window. It doesn’t matter whether your Point of View stays consistent or whether you jump from past tense to present tense and back again. This means that your first draft is often full of filler words that the blog Wise Ink defines as:

words that slow the pace, add unnecessary emphasis, add wordiness, etc.

With their help, along with Writer’s Circle we are going to help you identify these filler words so you can cut them away to reveal the beautiful prose around them.

The First Nine Words and Phrases

As Wise Ink provided today’s definition we are going to start with them. In their article 9 Words and Phrases to Delete From Your Writing they, unsurprisingly, do exactly what the title suggests it is going to. The nine victims are:

  1. Basically
  2. A lot
  3. So as to/in order to
  4. Very
  5. Additionally
  6. Seem 
  7. Really
  8. In addition to
  9. Literally

In their article 9 Words and Phrases to Delete From Your Writing they provide some background on why they picked each phrase including a wonderful piece of advice from Mark Twain. Head over to Wise Ink to see exactly what it is.

The Next Four

Adding to Wise Ink‘s 9 Words and Phrases to Delete From Your Writing, Writer’s Circle add another four to the list in their article “Very” and Other Useless Words to Erase Forever. As you can see from their article’s title they also list the word very, however, as it is included above we are going to miss it out.

  1. Suddenly
  2. “Amazing” or “Awesome”
  3. That
  4. Started

Just like Wise Ink Writer’s Circle also give the reasons behind each of their word choices. They also provide a helpful list  of alternative words to very from Amanda Patterson on the New Zealand website Writer’s Write. The same list can be found here.

A Word of Warning

Before we finish, Wise Ink does say that it is ok to use these words if it is intentional and you have a reason to use them in your writing. Maybe one of your character’s speaks in clichés or has a limited word choice.

Which of these words do you always over use? Do you have a word that isn’t on this list but you always over use?

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