Here is my list of words to avoid when writing with an explanation for each about alternatives and / or why. I don’t want to turn this into a thesaurus, we have a bounty of applications that can do a much better job, but I have popped some alternatives in where it helps to explain the point.
I make a pass through my manuscript for each of these words / phrases, and explore each one. There are generally 4 options:
- Leave it
- Remove it
- Replace it with a more specific word
- Rework the sentence
Master list of words / phrases to avoid
- A lot of – Alt. Many.
- Across – Overused word. If it is movement, consider how to better show movement.
- All – Overused word. Alt. Each, copious.
- Almost, always, already, anymore – Check each one, they are often redundant and can be removed.
- Came, came to – Alt. Arrived.
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