Some words sneak up on us. We end up using them more than we should. The trouble is, everyone else loves using them too. Break the habit. Don’t use the following in the first 10 pages:
Actions speak louder than words. No need to state the obvious when an abrupt change occurs.
If it is so obvious, the reader will work it out.
3. At the end of the day
4. A lot
Always two words, never one. Cease and desist. Don’t use “a lot” in the first 10 pages or later, ever. Think hard about what you want to say: I like you a lot or I love you?
This word is no longer totally awesome, it’s exhausted. Rest in peace.
The word has been trending too much. Epic fail.
7. Inner goddess
E. L. James laid claim to these two words and churned them out page (after page, after page) in Fifty Shades of Grey. We must never read these words again.
You are padding out a sentence and you know you are.
9. Trust me
Used often in dialogue. Would you trust someone who said that?
The word has been worked to death in casual conversation. Now “like” is so, like, yesterday.
We all have secrets. No need to spell them out, create suspense instead.
12. A look of desperation
Portray desperation through dialogue, not a description.
One of those sickly sweet words. Never add too much sugar to the first 10 pages.
It might be amusing but probably not even that. Unless it is hysterically funny, the reader will be laughing at you, not with you.
Get the character’s breathing under control otherwise call an ambulance.
It is tempting to use this word for emphasis but it can get repetitive.
Just as well; just in case; just about; just in time; just great; just now; just don’t, okay?
This word can go horribly wrong when used in the non-literal sense – for emphasis or exaggeration. “I literally died laughing.” Dead or just a wee bit dead? Never confuse the reader.
Over to Oscar Wilde for this one. “Always! That is a dreadful word. It makes me shudder when I hear it. Women are so fond of using it. They spoil every romance by trying to make it last forever. It is a meaningless word, too. The only difference between a caprice and a life-long passion is that the caprice lasts a little longer.” The Picture of Dorian Gray