How to get rid of writing tics.
I’m doing the final edits for my second novel at the moment. My editor pointed out I use the word ‘wonderful’ rather a lot. Surely not, I thought. I did a search. Sure enough, I had written ‘wonderful’ thirty-eight times! Whoops. I quickly went in search of a thesaurus.
David Kaplin, in his excellent book ‘Revision,’ writes of ‘Weasel Words,’ words that writers should avoid because they are essentially empty words that just clog up our prose. Here are a few examples:
We all have our little quirks, linguistic tics that we don’t always spot ourselves but which others can see a mile off. When they’re pointed out to us, it’s worth keeping a list so we avoid them when we next write anything. These days, the search facility on our computers is brilliant at helping us track down and destroy these weasely pests, and our work will be much better for it.