The Big Reveal

Welcome to the Big Reveal

I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will have
a new question for them.

What word(s) or phrases show up way too often in your work?


Jay Bendt, Un-agented Author
Then, that, sighed, so.

Lara Schiffbauer, Un-agented Author
Too many to list. The good news is I’ve moved on from “that.” It’s sad to do a word search and find that the word you thought you hardly used shows up every other page.

Mark Koopmans, Un-agented Author
And, (as in the beginning of a sentence.)

Eileen Cook, Published Author
Eye rolling. In my first drafts I people rolling eyes all over the place.

Kelley Lynn, Published Author
Ooo, good question. I don’t think this is ever the same across all stories. One story will be riddled with ‘that’. Others will have too much adverbs. Still others will have a phrase where I’m like, “Where did that come from?”

Chloe Banks, Agented Author
I’m having a real issue with ‘that’ at the moment. I use it way too much. I also use the words ‘just’ and ‘like’ too much. Oh, and my characters do a lot of ‘turning’!


Valerie Cole, Agented Author
I have three crutch words I’ve identified over the years: “Just,” “And then” (cue the Dude, Where’s My Car jokes), “looked.” Oh, also “leaned”—that’s a new one I just picked up on. Everyone’s leaning over or leaning against or leaning to look at something.
What word(s) do you overuse?

4 Responses

  1. Hmmm. I’ll have to check for leaned, thanks Valerie. My list is big also. My worst offenders are definitely THAT and WAS. I don’t have the exact number, but I’m pretty sure I cut 500 THATs from one of my manuscripts. I’m getting better though.

  2. Lots of ‘thats’ floating around. Guess I should check my books for it. My own words a many and varying. Right now I’m seeing a lot of ‘like’ show up. It’s like I’ve time travelled back to the 90s when I was a teen.

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