Rewriting: Cutting Excess Words

Whew.  That’s always a lot of work.  I’ve been rewriting which often comes down to making sure I have the strongest nouns and verbs so that I can keep my writing as tight as possible.  Of course, that involves cutting excess words.

My own personal problem words?  “That” and “start.”

“Start” is definitely a word that we need in certain sentences such as “school starts tomorrow.”  But there are other times that it is simple filler.  “He started to talk.”  “She started toward the door.”  “I started writing.”  How much better it would be to write something more concrete and often shorter.  “He spoke.”  “She strode to the door.”  “I wrote.”

Then I found the infographic below.  I’ll admit that I read through it and laughed.  When my son wants to imitate me he says, “Well, actually…”  This may not be a phrase that I use in my writing but verbally?  It is my tag line.

Check out this infographic by Grammar Check.  The last eleven examples are word pairs that could be trimmed down to one word.  That’s something that I look for in my writing – characters who stand up instead of stand or speak out instead of speak.

Do you have filler words or phrases that didn’t make the list?  Mention them in the comments below.