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Word weeding

A handy tip for editing, I’ve discovered, is to use Edit, Find and highlight, at the head of my document, to hunt down and destroy those pesky adjectives and favourite words I keep bunging in. I had a distinct feeling that I’d used the word just …well, just too many times recently and, sure enough, after firing it in, I found that it cropped up – well, far too many times, same as the word, rather, another of my favourites. To check for superfluous adjectives I typed in the letters LY and was directed, like a heat-seeking missile, to an overabundance of really lovely but ultimately unnecessary adjectives. Obviously, (oops, there I go again) you have to be subjective here and not just (aarrgh) start to dig them ALL out, like weeds, but it really does help me to tighten up the old manuscript.

Does anyone else have a well-worn word they have to cut down later?

You can also check at


Leigh said…
Shrugged. They did rather a lot of that, about twice a chapter according to my word frequency thingy.

Just appears a staggering 348 times in a 104K novel. That's once every 300 words, or approximately 12 times a chapter. I find this rather worrying, and shall pay more attention to it. Thanks for the heads-up.

Rather doesn't feature much in the novel, although it is rather prominent in this comment!
HelenMH said…
I start a lot of sentences with the word 'so'. I have no idea why! I find myself deleting it a lot!
Lane said…
Hhmmm. Never used this new-fangled facility before so I put in 'rather' thinking it's not a word I over-use. OMG. Shocking:-)
Anna said…
thanks for popping by! not patronizing at all, btw... :)))

we lived in Yorkshire for nearly 11 years, a beautiful place! where I became addicted to tea and from where I wrote my first NaNovel...

my problem now is that I'm writing in google docs and soooo miss Word and that lovely synonym feature... well, first draft is the toughest anyways....

have a beautiful day! glad you got the kick from NANO you needed!
womagwriter said…
Well. And my characters always seem to sigh a lot.

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