Pet Words

Do you have any pet words?  Or maybe phrases?  Words (or phrases) you find yourself using in your writing frequently.  Very frequently.  WAY too much, maybe?  I have recently become aware of one of my very own pet words, and I never even knew about it!

I was recently at a writer’s conference and a brilliant agent (cough, cough: Donald Maass) was giving insights for revising and editing our work.  One of his suggestions was to take about twenty or thirty pages, throw them up in the air, make sure they are thoroughly mixed up, then restack and edit them one page at a time.  The genius behind this is that editing out of order keeps you from getting sucked into the flow of the story and just focus on the mechanics.  I have really been enjoying this process and find it extremely helpful.  One of the things I have noticed through this method is my propensity for using the word “vague” or some derivative of it.  Even I have gotten sick of seeing the word J.

I am happy to report, it’s not just me, though.  Maybe I shouldn’t be happy about that.  I guess it just means that I’m not the only one who makes these mistakes.  In one of the YA Fantasy novels I am currently reading, the author overuses the word “guttered.”

So, what’s your pet word?  Do you have one?  Have you noticed it?  I am happy to have found mine so I can reduce my use of it. If you have a pet word (or phrase) I would love to hear what it is!

– S.D. Bullard

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~ by sdbullard on June 5, 2012.

4 Responses to “Pet Words”

  1. The moment I read this I wanted to drop everything and go over my novel.

  2. hmmm pertinent and awkward are definitely mine!

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