So I found another word I’ve been over-using.
Here are several examples from my current WIP The Proper Way to Say Goodbye.
-Maybe she could sit with a total stranger and spill all her deepest secrets, but I wouldn’t
(The maybe is unnecessary, because the mom does do that.)
-I haven’t had an attack for a long time. Thought maybe it might not be so bad.
-My stomach twisted on the way over. Maybe this wasn’t a good idea.
(She knows it’s not a good idea, that’s why her stomach twists, so I don’t need the maybe.)
-Maybe if he’d called someone at a hotline, he might still be alive.
(Having maybe and might
is redundant. If I drop the maybe, nothing happens to the meaning.)
I have a few occurrences too where it sounds better to drop the maybe and make the sentence into a question. Because really, that’s what it is… a question in Chloe’s mind.
-Maybe Murphy would let me bunk at his house.
(Would Murphy let me bunk at the house with his friends?)
-Or maybe it was that she didn’t believe him.
(Didn’t she believe him?)
So I found lots of unnecessary/overused maybes. The other thing I did was to make maybe a word my main character Chlose uses. Her girlfriend Sasha now uses perhaps. And of course other people use maybe, but not as much as Chloe. So it was a good word to use to make her voice more distinct.
I never imagined maybe would go on my Sloppy Writing list, but not it’s one more word I’ll check my other manuscripts for too.