Crutch words or phrases lack meaning. They take away from our voice, leaving readers to face wordy prose. Every writer suffers from the use of crutch words. We add them to our novels without conscious thought. So while you’re editing, how can you find the crutch words in your novel?
It’s simple! Scour the internet for lists of common crutch words. You’ll probably find some of the following:
that just thought
very then this
feel seemed to adverbs/adjectives
pretty across down
really know was
Complete a find and replace in your manuscript. This takes time and patience, but it’s worth the end result. Try to fill these spots with more descriptive terms. We want “show don’t tell” here people… You can also use Wordle to identify your most common words and phrases. Once you recognize these, create a list to represent you as a writer. Crutch words are often individual. Each writer has unique talent and equally unique bad habits. Identifying your weaknesses can improve your chances of publication. So, what’s keeping you from deleting your crutch words today?