I read a lot of books written by editors so that one day (now) I am able to edit my own work. At least through to its final revision. I’ve kept a mental list (and one on paper) of all the naughty words authors use too much. Apparently we’re to stop it.

From A to Z, here we go…

About, Absolutely, Almost, Amazing, Are, Assume, Bad, Basically, Been, Begin, Being, Believe, Big, Can, Can’t, Clear, Clear the throat, Decide, Essentially, Extremely, Frown, Get, Good, Have, Hear, Imagined, Is, Know, Laugh, Like, Laterally, look, loud, nod, noisy, note, notice, only, pleasant, quick, quiet, realise, really, remember, said, say (exception when it comes to dialog tags), scowl, see, seem, (so far half of my vocabulary), shrug, sit, small, sound and sound like, taste, that, then, think, touch, very, want, watch, were, wonder.

I’ll add one of my own for the younger writers. Gulp.

It’s in all the young adult novels, and all the young adult manuscripts (ok, maybe not all). Gulp should not be in your manuscript. There are plenty of better ways to show a characters emotion.

And when young writers have their character’s stutter all the time.

“Y…Yes, sir.”

How many people do you meet on a daily basis that stutters every second line of dialog? No-one who doesn’t have a genuine speech disorder.



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