Crutch Words & Phrases

24/03/11 9:00 AM

In no particular order, here are some of my crutch words and phrases:

  • Just
  • Actually
  • And with that
  • Really
  • Studied/Peered (my crutches for “look”)
  • Snort (less so now, but it was a bugger in some earlier work)
  • Starting sentences with “and” (nothing wrong with that, but I do it a lot)

I allow myself to use these crutch words and phrases when I draft since I know I’ll fix/address them when I revise, but I find simply being aware of them means I use them less anyway. (And yes, this awareness sometimes slows me down as I draft since I’ll often pause when I start writing a crutch word, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.)

I showed you mine. Now show me yours. 🙂 What are some crutch words you use if you’re a writer, or what are some crutch phrases you hate seeing as a reader? Share in the comments.

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Posted by Robyn | in Creative Writing | 6 Comments »

6 Comments on “Crutch Words & Phrases”

  1. Phil Says:

    Two crutch descriptions that I’ve become aware of yet seem unable to shake is having characters glance at each other and ‘pause for a beat’. They just seem to be integral parts of my character’s interactions with each other. Annoying.

  2. Robyn Says:

    Oh, yes! The furtive glance…I’m guilty of this one as well.

  3. Ghenet Myrthil Says:

    My two main ones are “just” and “really” and I also tend to start with “And” or “But” a lot. I’m sure there are more but I can’t think of them of the top of my head. I’ll definitely need to fix them during revisions.

  4. Margo Berendsen Says:

    “Had” “sighed” “stared” …. sigh, I have a whole list around here someone where that I’m supposed to be checking. Oh yeah. To be.

  5. Mike Says:

    I use the semicolon way too much. I need to just end with a period.

  6. Jessica Gottlieb Says:

    Oy my crutch words are all four letters and tend to get my site marked NSFW.

    $hit, I’m a slow learner.