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Polishing Your Words with Alissa Callen!


Dancing, Ducks and Hit Lists: Polishing Your Words
Your muse is happy dancing, your plot ducks all in a neat row and now you need to polish your words to crystal-brilliance before your trigger finger presses submit.
For some this book buff-and-shine is more rewarding than chocolate while for others it is as gratifying as ironing handkerchiefs. But whatever your polishing-mindset a list of ‘seek and destroy’ words can hasten and streamline the process. For every author this hit-list will differ but no matter how vigilant you may be a hard core group of words can shoulder their way onto your page.
The key code Ctrl + F is a perfect tool to not only identify your ‘crutch’ words (words you use all the time) but also to eliminate any general hit-list words. Below is a list collated from my own work as well as others. Be sure to cross out the words that don’t frequently appear in your work and add in any extra ones that do.
Happy polishing and all the very best when you hit submit.


that
back
up
down
nothing
never
watched
look
almost
obviously
clearly
 
 
one                                    
felt
saw
time
moment
smile
gaze
glance
laugh
very
something
 
 
only
just
was
everything
instant
first
second
hold
form/from
held
time


When Alissa Callen isn't writing she plays traffic controller to four children, three dogs, two horses and one renegade cow who really does believe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. After a childhood spent chasing sheep on the family farm, Alissa has always been drawn to remote areas and small towns, even when residing overseas. Once a teacher and a counsellor, she remains interested in the life journeys that people take and her books are characteristically heart-warming, emotional and character driven. She currently lives on a small slice of rural Australia in central western New South Wales.

Beneath Outback Skies


What Love Sounds Like




 

 

 

15 comments:

  1. Oh yeah, a few of those words would be on my list, too. ;)

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  2. Hi Rachel - thanks so much for dropping by and all the very best getting rid of your pesky words:)

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  3. Great list! I use Wordle before I use Cntl F to figure out which words are popping. The worst for me with this draft was 'back'! :)

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    1. Hi Jemi, ooohh have never heard of Wordle - am off to google!

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  4. Hi Alissa! CP extraordinaire =)

    I'm going to check my overused words right now!!

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    1. Hi Mel, sorry first comment published itself - my mouse needs to be cleaned as it isn't very accurate!! Thanks so much for visiting and know for a fact you don't have many overused words!!

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  6. Don't we all have our favourite overused words! I'm a great one for 'feeling' words which aren't direct enough. It's hard weeding them out. Also too many 'ing' verbs instead of 'ed' verbs.

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  7. Hi Denise, I hear you:) Think 'ing' verbs are unfortunately my favourite too. Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  8. Great list! We all have various crutch words we use more often than others.

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  9. Hi Cherie, so true! And unfortunately the list seems to continue to grow!

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  10. I'm an adverb user. I think there is a place for all words, including adverbs, especially if it makes your writing more concise, or it adds colour. But redundancy is what I look for. I have a tendency to use 'actually' and 'literally' too much. I also tend to be a little over formal (my SA influence, I think).

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  11. JUST is the one I have to cut, cut, cut. Great post!

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  12. Great advice! It is so funny when we realize the words we overuse (that, just, very are three of mine). Sometimes I think I have found them all and then I find another. I will use Control- F now! :) Best of luck to Alissa!
    ~Jess

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  13. Firstly, few things are more rewarding than chocolate. Secondly, great list of words to watch out for!

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