Monday Craft Tips #14: Avoiding verbal tics

In the course of polishing the text, a writer’s task is to get rid of verbal tics that can turn into clichés.I make a list of words that I think I’m using too often so that I can go back and do a search to figure out just how many times I’m using these words.

Here is a partial list of words from the manuscript I’ve been working on:

SIGH, THIN, OPEN, STARE, GLARE, TURN

With that knowledge, I can then open one of my huge dictionaries and find a more unusual or interesting word. In that way, you can write prose that is more like this:

For example, “my feet whispered across the floor”

as opposed to this:

“all of us wore what we would’ve worn in the States during the winter

I suggest that you make lists of words when polishing your text. Have a wonderful week!

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