Remember those super summer double edition comics? I used to love those. Packed into the car seat pockets as a surprise to keep us entertained when off on a long road trip they’d keep us happy for hours. However, I’m digressing, because this is nothing to do with comics! This is a bumper edition mainly because despite my best intentions I failed to do my monthly post, and newsletter, in June.
This last month has been a bit hectic on the work and social front plus I went on holiday to Gozo for a week. Now last year I wrote a series of blog posts about my week away. I’m not going to do that again because I need to be writing other things at the moment but if you fancy taking a look at what happened last year here are all the posts.
So there you have it, this year we stayed back in Gharb but in a different farmhouse to last time and it was lovely but the week went extraordinarily quickly. So much has happened since we’ve been back it’s hard to imagine we were there less than 10 days ago. I have also started posting the reviews of the books I read but others are to follow.
Now, onto what I was planning on talking to you about this month – those irritating words, sometimes called crutch words, and that’s crutch as in support rather than being about your bits and pieces! We all have them, those words that automatically spill out into our writing, but as I’m doing a bit of beta reading at the moment I’m noticing the words others rely on too much and which usually then get ironed out in the endless editing/rewriting/proofreading process.
I keep a notebook of words I have to try and fish out of my writing as I work to shape it into something readable and having just checked the list there are about 75 of them. This seems like a lot but I add words to the list as I go along. A reader told me recently they didn’t like me using the word ‘like’ in my books, for example, so that is added to the list.
I won’t list them all out here but to give you an idea mine are: muttering, usually, well, felt, just, that, still, always, sigh, really, very, nice, looked, would, and so on, you get the picture.
At some point I found a piece of software that you could put a piece of work through and it would tell you how many times certain words appeared. Very useful I thought, I’ll give that a go. Now I don’t know if I did something wrong but sure enough I did get details of how many times I’d used certain words but this information was useless to me because it gave no indication as to what was considered an acceptable level of usage for that word in a piece of prose. I abandoned this idea and ended up using Find for each word then replacing it with something more scintillating, where I could.
I’d be interested to hear what other people do. What are your crutch words and how do you get rid of them? Do you use any special software or technique?
I’m sneakily asking these questions because I’m gathering intel for the future. On a final note I’ve now committed myself to getting the first draft of my next book written in the next three months (and yes I know I’ve said that before, but this time I mean it!) So, have a glorious summer everyone, I’ll be around as much as I can but if you need me to hear, see or do anything please email (or shout, loudly, I respond well to Oi!)
I should also quickly add that Thicker than Water (the finale to The Grayson Trilogy) is on a Kindle Countdown Deal for the next few days so you can get it for just 99p or 99c right HERE.
Okay, that’s it folks, I’m off to write a book, and I’ll see you soon 🙂