Thursday, August 30, 2012

Three little words

Bet you thought this romance writer was going to talk about an "I love you" scene in a book. Nope! I'm talking about the three little words that I over use while writing a rough draft....just, as, and like.

I've spent the last few days searching my manuscript for those words and reworking my sentences to get rid of them. It makes my writing tighter, and my sentences stronger.

Here's an example: I just left the package at their door. I even need that just? No, the sentence is stronger without it. I left the package at their door. If you need to show that it happened right before the character come home, etc. show it in a tag line.

Heather entered the kitchen, shaking rain from her overcoat. "I left the package at their door."

Using 'like' and 'as' are a little trickier because they can show comparison and give readers a clear visual of what you're describing.

Her voice rang out like church bells announcing Sunday service.

However, I seem to use it for other comparison's too, that does not make for strong sentences. "Are you going to pester me like you used too?" was changed to "Please don't pester me the way you used too."

When you are searching and replacing your pet words, it feels tideous but your manuscript will benefit from it.!


  1. Great post, Rose. I (just) commented the other day on a FB post regarding how wonderful the "find" key is. "Just" is one of my first searches. Another for me is "very". If I have used either, there is always a better way.

  2. Hi Julia!

    My agent pointed out my overuse of the word 'as'. I am a better writer for it too!