Writing Tip #16-Writing Tics

I love writing. I love teaching. I love teaching writing. I love listening to writers talk about their manuscripts. I love problem solving with writers. I love the delicacy and boldness of writing. These tips are things I’ve learned over the years that have held me in good stead and kept me going through the hard dry times. I hope they help you.

And hey, they are only a minute long. Click here to find all of them..

Okay so we all have writing tics. They usually show up in early drafts because we are getting the story on the page and we’re not thinking about word choices then. One of my writing tics is the adverb ‘just’. I sprinkle that little word everywhere. One manuscript had 400. Why? Because my first drafts are tentative flailings of getting the story down and I throw in ‘just’ to temper my verbs and the action of the story. Once I have a draft, I do a word search and target those sections so I can ask myself, what am I trying to say here? Can I say it more directly? What am I just not saying? Another favorite adverb tic is the word even. IT’s a great word because it works as an intensive to stress something. But sometimes it’ll glop up sentences with too many stressors. All of us have writing tics. Use them to figure out what you are really trying to say.