Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very;” your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain
I’ve made a conscious effort to curb my use of “very,” but in the 50,000-word manuscript I’m revising, there were still 45 of them. I did a little better on “really,” with only 31. An embarrassing 273 incidents of “that,” almost all of which are unnecessary.
Ninety-four “fish,” which probably isn’t enough for this book. And just a single occurrence each of “zombie,” “zany,” and “zipper,” all of which could stand a more robust workout.
I always try to fill my books and the world with more love than hate, and in this case “love” won out by a score of 14 to 6.
A jaw-dropping 213 “like”s, which indicates I’ve never met a simile I didn’t like.
What are your crutch words, writers? Readers, are there words that make you wince when you see them repeated?