Literary Engineer
Because reading and writing are my only obsessions

Sloppy Writing 101.11

 
Sloppy Writing 101.11
 
When I first started writing, I used really a lot. Really, I did. Along with very, truly and fairly, really is one of those unnecessary words.
 
My examples from FROSTY.
 
-I didn’t really know where she went.
-If I thought they truly meant it…

 Taking out really and truly changed nothing in the meaning and therefore they are unnecessary. Very and fairly have never been a problem for me, but I counted 43 reallys in FROSTY. I left a few that were in dialogue, but the rest I deleted.
 
I got rid of another fifty words.
 
So watch out for really, very, truly and fairly. You probably don’t need most of them.

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5 Responses to “Sloppy Writing 101.11”

  1. Lara Schiffbauer Says:

    Those adverbs get me every time! I have gotten a good grip on my adverb filter after having 20 pages critiqued last summer and the critiquer circled about five on one page. It was embarrassing.

  2. Kelley Lynn Says:

    The word I have to watch out for in my writing is ‘that’. Oh, my, gosh. This word is EVERYWHERE for me. I must delete 500 that’s in my first round of edits. :)

  3. Hope Roberson Says:

    I get stuck with just and very! It feels good to hunt them down and delete them later :)

  4. Cassie Mae Says:

    No! I’m really in love with really. You can’t make me take it out! Are you really serious? Because I really like them spattered all over my ms. They really make the voice pop, I swear!

    Really, you can’t make me! ;)

  5. Liz Hellebuyck Says:

    “Really” is a really big one for me too! I also have problems with “sort of” and “a little.” I am getting better at chucking those, but it’s hard.

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