Overused and abused words

As I am going through the first draft of my book I decided to do a quick search on any overused words. I thought there would be a lot of “Actually’s” since I use those a lot in everyday speech and actually, there were quite a few. 😉

The 'actually, pretty, pretty' combo I threw out there.

The ‘actually, pretty, pretty’ combo I threw out there.

In no particular order, here are the ones I thought to look for and [edit: additional ones I] looked for via advise from Bridget McKenna’s Little Book of Self-editing.

actually: 32
pretty: 40
very: 8
was: 643
were: 210
totally: 9
finally: 17
just: 178
suddenly: 8
fuck: 24
shit: 41
damn: 4
hell: 27
ass: 14

I just went fucking crazy with the fuck's here! I think I captured Jax's feelings.

I just went fucking crazy with the fuck’s here! I think I captured Jax’s feelings.

Yeah, I really have to do something about the was/were/just situation!

was.just.were

Was, just, were, just?

I am sure there are a lot more excessive words, I just can’t think of what else to look for! (see that just that snuck in there?)

Next… working on the show don’t tell stuff. Lot’s of work to go.

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5 thoughts on “Overused and abused words

  1. The great thing about useless modifiers like really pretty actually is that you don’t have to rewrite around them the way you do the “to be” verbs. Just delete ’em and your writing is stronger!

  2. I’m reasonably sure fuck, shit, damn, hell, and ass weren’t in my book, but I think they’d be a wonderful addition to a second addition! As for was / were, those guys are insidious, sneaky beggars, aren’t they?

    Thanks for the plug, Kiki!

  3. Pingback: Way Overused | Rafferty's Rules

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