Are you addicted to certain words? Does "suddenly" suddenly appear in your manuscripts? Let us stage an intervention.
I'll go first. My name is Julie, and I have a word addiction. Not just awesome words that leap off the page. No. There are certain useless words that wiggle their way into my manuscripts. A lot. Some of my repeat offenders are: then, only, just, and really.
I don't know of a 12-step program for addictive words. What should we do about those little buggers? I've created a list, and I ran a word search for each one. I was able to rephrase just about everything, making the story stronger. Really. (See? I like that word).
A writer friend suggested using Wordle, where our addictive words jump out at us, all big and bold. Also, WriteWords has a Word Frequency Counter and Phrase Frequency Counter.
My addictive words are weak. K.M. Weiland wrote a great post about Why Vague Writing is Weak Writing.
What are your addictive words? If you have any tips for kicking the habit, please share in the comments.
On a side note, if you write for children or young adults, YAtopia is hosting a pitch contest with agent Ammi-Joan Paquette. Deadline is March 24th, or 150 entries, whichever comes first. Good luck!