The Crimson Five series, Writing Craft

Spring Cleaning your Manuscript

Since we’re well into Spring, I think we better talk about spring cleaning our manuscripts.

Do you have Spring Fever too?

Cleaning our manuscripts?

Yes! It’s time to get rid of all those dirty words. You know the ones. Filler words. Words like: that, just, really, and very.

They weaken your writing and bog down your story.

Not sure what I mean? Take a look at these two sentences:

Danielle told me that she got a kitten.

Danielle told me she got a kitten.

Deleting the word that doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence, but it does make the sentence stronger.

Here’s another:

Adam just wants to run a marathon.

Adam wants to run a marathon.

In this case you could argue that the word just is there for emphasis or voice but unless that’s the case, it’s not needed. So here’s my friendly reminder to delete it!

In the case of really, it’s a modifier. By using a more powerful word, it won’t be needed. For example,

I’m really tired.

I’m exhausted. See how much better that is?

What about very?

Take a look at this very painting.

Take a look at this painting.

Again, the filler word very bogs down the sentence unnecessarily.

The problem with filler words is that they’re so common in our language. It’s sometimes hard to even notice them. But, in order to strengthen your writing, they must be eliminated. I’ve given you a few words to watch out for but there are so many others. A quick google search will help you find them!

So, happy Spring cleaning! Just think how accomplished you’ll feel once your manuscript is polished up. And trust me. Your future editors and readers will appreciate it too!

I hope this post helps and I also hope you’re having a bright & cheery week. I’m off to Florida with my daughter for a girls trip. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that having older kids isn’t fun! Whenever I get sad that mine are almost all grown up, I remind myself of the fun that’s ahead… like doing things like this!

I’m excited to get out of the never-ending, drizzling rain we’ve been having and into warmer temperatures… to read, relax & recharge. A change in scenery, especially the sunny kind, always fuels my writing motivation! But I promise to check back in next week with a new post and maybe I’ll have a little writing inspiration for you too!