The Editing Chopping Block
Editing shapes a book into its final form, and no word is safe from the process. After making major changes to the plot of my Pirate work in progress (WIP), I have moved onto the editing phase. My goal is to clean up the manuscript so that when i give it to beta readers they are not distracted by sentence structure and can focus on the story. My grammar is not very strong, and because of this, I have also been doing some research to improve my craft.
One of the key pieces of advice I hear repeated by many other writers is to cut out adverbs from the manuscript. They're sneaky little words, and quite often unnecessary to the actual sentence structure. Cutting adverbs helps create a smoother and concise read. It's a good habit to get into and, once you start watching for adverbs you can never unsee them.
While conducting m initial read-through and plot edits, I note words that frequently appear. I then combine this list with other common words that are often overused, to create my chopping block list. Then, before going evaluating each sentence one by one (grooooaaan), I go through the manuscript using the CTRL+F function on my word document to find these pesky words.
Here is my (always growing) list of all the words lined up on the editing chopping block:
I can't say this is a complete list of words that deserves a spot on the chopping block, because I am sure I will come across more in my career. If I've missed any of your favourites, let me know in the comments. Happy editing!