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Words to Delete While Editing
Parts of a Speech
Editing Your Writing
When I write a story, I go through five different drafts before I settle on a final revision. During this process, there are lots of words I use which could either be deleted entirely, or written to show the readers what I really feel. I compiled a list that I have been collecting for years from different books, articles, videos, and blogs of words that should never make it into a story.
This list will continue to be updated often, so be sure to bookmark it and use it when you are editing your content.
Key Note: to find the word hit ctl and F key to run a search for each of these words. I hope you enjoy and please comment below on any other words that can be added to this massive list.
Words to Delete in Writing
- And also: This is redundant
- And/or : Try using one or the other
- As to whether: Try using just the word whether
- Etc. : Using this is just lazy.
- Considered to be: Get rid of "to be"
- Basically, essentially, totally: these words normally don't add anything
- Due to the fact that: Try saying because instead
- each and every: one or the other but not both
- equally as: the proper way of saying this is equally important or as important
- He/She: just say one or the other
- firstly, secondly, thirdly, etc.: say first, second, or third instead
- Got: If it can be avoided, do so. Try the word must instead.
- Had ought or hadn't ought: eliminate the auxiliary had. You ought not to pester
- Interesting: this word isn't interesting at all. Use your visual words instead.
- In terms of: Eliminate this phrase if possible.
- Irregardless: Find a better word
- Kind of, sort of: try the words somewhat, rather, or slightly instead.
- Literally; This word is often confused with literarily and it is an overused word.
- Lots or lots of: Try saying many, much, or something a number instead.
- Just: cut this word if possible. Can be used as in Just the right moment.
- Nature: movies of a violent nature could be...violent movies.
- Necessitate: This is one of those words that doesn't do much for the content.
- Would of, should of, could of: you mean would have, could have, should have
- On account of: use because instead.
- Only: Instead of "She only ran twenty feet" say " She ran twenty feet"
- Per: Try using according to instead.
- Plus: use and instead.
- Point in time: "At this time" or "Now" instead
- Previous: use earlier or cut the word completely.
- So as to: usually, a simple "to" will do.
- Suppose to, use to: these words are spelled with a hard "d" on the end Supposed to, Used to.
- The reason why is because: this should never be a part of someone's writing
- Thru: through not thru
- Til: the word is until or till
- Try and: It is actually try to do something, not try and do something.
- Thusly: use either thus or therefore instead
- Utilize: try using the word use instead
- Very, really, quite (and other intensifiers) these words do not add anything and can be replaced with incredibly, insanely, fairly, a bit, or cut completely out.
- You: Do not use the word you unless it is in narrative.
- Some: instead of "there are some flowers in the vase...try... there are five flowers in the vase.
- over: Go over to the store. Go to the store
- Even: She even wanted to get some pickles. She wanted to get some pickles
- Down: He sat the chair down on the floor. He sat the chair on the floor.
- Start: He started to run. He ran.
- Begin, began, begun: He began to sing. He sang.
- Almost: He was almost a foot taller than her. He was a foot taller than her.
- Right: I'm doing that right now. I'm doing that now.
- Such: She's such a stubborn person. She's a stubborn person.
- Quite: It's been quite a task. It's been a task.
- About: Go to dinner about 8. Go to dinner at 8.
- All: All of the buildings were torn down. The building were torn down.
- Seem: He seemed like a loser. He was a loser. Better yet- He wouldn't hold the door for me.
- Very: The dog barked very loudly. The dog barked.
- Been: I've been hungry. I'm hungry.
- Only: He was only six years old. He was six years old.
- Real: She was real pretty. She was pretty.
- On: She sat on the chair. She sat
- Had: He had known she would stay. He knew she would stay.
- Out: He ran out into the street. He ran into the street.
- Off: He took his clothes off. He undressed.
- Up: She glanced up at her. She glanced at her.
- Being: I was being weird. I was weird. Better yet- I stuck my tongue at her.
- Going: She was going to break up with him. She would break up with him.
- Got: I have got to go. I have to go.
- Was being ing: He was running in the street. He ran in the street.
These Words Should Be replaced or Cut from Writing
- the public
Endings to Watch for: Delete these words or Find Something Stronger
"LY" ending words- sometimes, not always, words that end in LY are -ly adverbs and are used to modify another word. These words are often referred to as a lazy man's descriptive words. LY words can be eliminated by using action verbs instead. "She went quickly" try "She hurried" . Action verbs allows the readers to create a picture using your words.
Example: She ran quickly.
Here is an exercise I learned; anytime you see these words, ask yourself to run quickly is to ____(run fast)
"ize" "tion" "sion" "ment" "ance" "ing"- Words ending with these can be replaced by something to make the sentence stronger.
Example: She came to the realization that hamburgers were good...could be turned into... She realized hamburgers were good.
Avoid Undescriptive Words in Writing
These words tell and do not show. Anytime you see these words, try to think of how you might explain the moment in greater detail, or words you could use in their place to be more descriptive.
Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story
Filler Words to Delete From Writing
These words can almost always be avoided in writing. Try saying the sentence without the word in it to see if it makes sense.
- sort of
50 Replacement Words
These words aren't horrible, but they make your writing weak. If possible, replace them with a stronger, more descriptive word.
To Be words to delete: Passive Voice
These words should be watched for. These often make your sentences seem passive. This isn't always the case.
Example of Active: Who/Does/What
Example of Passive: What/Was Done/ To Whom
These are not wrong to have in your content, but they don't paint a picture either. Replace these boring verbs with action verbs instead.
Linking Verbs to Replace:
Helping Verbs to Replace
Overused Words in Writing: Verbs to Avoid
These are the most common overused words that people use in writing. Avoid these when possible...avoid them like you would a cliche.
Try replacing with words such as:
Vague Verbs to Avoid in Writing
Replace with vivid verbs such as:
Napping Nouns should also be replaced
Replace with these Nouns instead:
- dodge charger
Words to Use instead of Wish
Wish is another one of those words which is thrown around. If given the chance, replace it using one of these more vivid verbs. These words can also be used instead of "hope"
- long for
Words to Use Instead of Said
Said takes me back to grade-school... he said, she said, they said. Let's do away with saying said all the time and try out some exciting words.
I hope this Hubpage is something that many people can use. If I forgot any words, please leave them down in the comment section and I will add them and give you a shout out in the capsule. If you haven't already, please subscribe and bookmark this Hubpage for later use.
Find R.D. Hayes' Other Work
R.D. Hayes. 511 likes · 1 talking about this. R.D. Hayes has written hundreds of articles online and in print. She is also the author of the Dreamer...
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