Are there certain words that you use too much? When you Wordle, does suddenly suddenly appear huge and dead center?
We all have our crutch words. The dictionary describes a crutch as "a thing used for support or reassurance." For me, crutch words are the easiest to find in my vocabulary when I'm writing a first draft. Nothing wrong with that.
But as we progress through drafts, we should trim as many crutch words as possible. I have a running list of words that weaken my writing. It's not that these words are never okay, it's just that they sometimes add unnecessary fat, and can usually be replaced with stronger words. When I run a search for these words, I spot areas in the manuscript that need tightening or clarification.
Here's a list that I've compiled, using multiple sources:
I usually weed out crutch words after beta reads, but before the professional edit. This time around, I'm doing it before the beta reads. That way my trusted readers don't have to suffer through reading "look" three times in the same paragraph.
Tell me, writers, what are your crutch words? Any I need to add to my list? At what point in the process do you search for weak words? Please share!