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Sloppy Writing 101.54

March 29, 2013 by Suzi

SORT OF and KIND OF often appear on the lists or words to watch out for. They’re often unnecessary and can easily be deleted. Even if you want it in there as the character’s voice, you should avoid using it too much.
I went through The Proper Way to Say Goodbye and deleted a bunch. No, I didn’t delete all of them from the narrative, and I left most of them in the dialogue, but I still found a lot I didn’t need. Here are my examples.
-I hesitated, deciding it’d be okay if Devyn sort of thought we were dating.
-When people find out about Brock, it sort of scares them away.
-Felt some sort of responsibility to me.
-Although I did sort of miss her music and singing.
In all of the examples above, the sort of doesn’t add anything, so that’s why I deleted them.
Do you use sort of or kind of a lot?


  1. Dana says:

    I think I use kind of more than sort of. Thanks to your post, I’m going to check!

    Happy Friday!

  2. Hi, Suzi,

    Just finished your novel …. REALLY enjoyed it. I’ll be sending it to you in a bit….

    Good suggestion on the sort of’s ….

  3. Sheri Larsen says:

    I guess it depends on the character. If it’s pertinent to character development then I’d use it, but only sparingly like you mentioned. I hopped over from Michael’s blog. Nice to meet you!

  4. So many things sneak in like that! Though I do agree with Sheri . . . sometimes those things can build characterization, but you definitely have to be careful. Good luck with your revisions!

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