Clearing Out

fieryhair

I recently read Donald Maass’s The Emotional Craft of Fiction and am now on the task of working through some of the exercises.

The book reminded me to do what I usually try to do–go through the work searching for certain key words and seeing how often I repeated myself. Oh boy. Here are the words I looked for: feel, look, seem, glance, and nod. I found these words hundreds of times.

So, I read the offending sentences and decided whether or not the words were doing anything worthwhile. Sometimes I rewrote the sentence. Often I simply cut the sentence. It never ceases to amaze me how often cutting a problem sentence works just fine. Which proves how unneeded the sentence was. But once in a great while I left the sentence in peace.

Next I’ll search for words I know I overuse in spite of myself: just, only, few, little, and moment. I try to avoid them in the first place, but the pesky blighters sneak in anyway. They aren’t always bad, but they need clearing out so that other words may thrive.

What words do you overuse? Have you gotten better at avoiding them?

Now on to more rewrites!

Thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “Clearing Out

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s