Useless Words

As I mentioned last week, I signed a contract with a book publisher for one of my manuscripts. This week, the editor had me run through pre-edits. It’s a list of items that all authors must comply with before they get into the editing process.

What an eye opener!

Two things I learned by going through this process: 1. I am a much better writer than I was when I finished that manuscript. 2. Useless words can plague a manuscript.

One of the items they sent me was a list of words they wanted cut. Can I tell you, you don’t know how much you use a particular word until you’re asked to remove it.

By the time I finished, I had cut a total of 1,913 words of useless words, phrases, and sentences–which doesn’t sound like much, until you consider that’s approximately 8 double spaced, 1″ margin-ed pages. Yes, *8*! YIKES!

Now, I consider myself a good writer, but I was astonished at how many overused words crept into my writing.

So take the time to cut those insipid words and phrases from your manuscript. Is there a phrase you’ve repeated a lot? Try to find a way to re-write them. And don’t be afraid if page after page winds up on the cutting room floor. Your manuscript will be better for it.

-*heart* M.R. Anglin

2 thoughts on “Useless Words”

  1. Goodness, isn’t that an eye-opener? I misuse comma splices and “as if” when doing a metaphor. A lot. I’ve gotten better about sentence fragments, though!

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