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Sloppy Writing 101.57

May 24, 2013 by Suzi

As writers we are supposed to tighten our prose. At the same time, we need to develop that elusive voice and make sure it’s not blah/boring. Finding that balance is tough. The point of doing these posts is to show the ways I’m trying to clean up my writing. There are so many unnecessary words out there that plague my stories; I end up spending more time editing than writing. Way more. So here are some of the things I look for.

FINALLY is another adverb often used unnecessarily. Using it in dialogue is different, but I try cutting the ones in the narrative, unless it’s important. Here are some examples of FINALLYs I cut from The Proper Way to Say Goodbye.
-I told Murphy about when I finally confessed the truth to Brock
-The truth finally bubbled out, mixed in with apologies for not being honest.
-I told Sasha I finally wrote it.
-Because I finally admitted to myself I was a lesbian.
None of these FINALLYs are necessary, and I cut out a little more clutter. Do you use FINALLY a lot?


  1. Minerva Jones says:

    “FINALLY is another adverb to is often used unnecessarily.” – That sentence makes NO sense! Consider revisions.

  2. Gina says:

    This is a really great post! Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Chloe Banks says:

    Just catching up on blogs after my holiday! I definitely use finally too much. Not as badly as really/very, but still over-used.

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