Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Crutch Words


As I said yesterday on The Writing Spectacle, I have crutch words.  To most, these are words writers use on a regular basis in place of better, richer words, ostensibly because they are lazy.  Or in my case, have a boatload of bad habits that I am disinclined to worry about during the drafting phases. 

Also, in yesterday's post, I said I'd talk about those words here today.  Yah, I'm airing my dirty laundry.  :shrug:  Shtuff happens.

Anyway, here are some of the words my editor came up with this time around...

just - 152/56
even - 155/39
like - 290/110
then - 221/43
know - 135/45
again - 159/60

The first number is how many instance of that word I found when I highlighted them all.  The second number is how many I found AFTER I'd finished tweaking.  It took me about 6 hours over 2 days of finding and rewording. 

She did point out some words that I didn't bother with.  When I did a search of 'took', for instance, I only found 39 of those.  Compared to 'like', 39 was a non-issue.  Plus, I'm tired and a little cranky.  I apologize if the word irritates you. 

I also apologize to anyone who isn't overly fond of the word 'like'.  (Which, btw, includes child-like, likeable, etc.)  But there were places I just couldn't bring myself to change.  And the sentence "I like him, but I don't like him like him' chalked up 3 all by itself.

I really do try to make these books the best they can be.  But, as I say in my front matter, "Any flaws or fiascos in grammar, punctuation, spelling, research, etc. are entirely the fault of the author.  My editor probably pointed them out, and the author was too stubborn to change them."  I am kinda stubborn sometimes, as AWE will attest to.  

Anyway, I hope that gives you a little insight into the pre-publication process.  Authors really are out there working to make your reading experience as awesome as you hope it will be.  Thanks for reading.

And for an update... Once I read through this one more time, checking to make sure I didn't insert errors while I was fixing errors, I will be able to upload this for sale.  Check back throughout the week to see where that process is at.  When I know it's live on Amazon, you'll know it. 


  1. Yay! I'll be jumping on it as soon as it's live!

    I've slowly, over the years, trained myself to watch out for most of those words. And "that". As in: His brother’s voice uttered the two words THAT he’d been dreading. Those get cut so it's just "the two words he'd been dreading."

  2. As a reader of self published fiction, and all other types obviously, I'm always grateful if the spelling is correct and the sentence flows properly. I've read books with:

    dreadful grammar

    missed words

    words joined together where a space should be in between

    moving from on part of the story to the next in the space of a paragraph without a marker to tell the reader, leaving them confused

    names that change half way through the story, then back again a couple of chapters later

    So all in all the overuse of the odd words really doesn't bother me as it at least makes sense whereas the crap above is just annoying & unnecessary when we all have spellchecker. Every writer should have an AWE like you!!

    Roll on "live" date!