a:: lazy, +b:: unhelpful
& guess what? Because I'm such a perfectionist + it galls me to realize I've made a mistake, my two crutch words now have huge Minion sirens that go off whenever I use them - "BEE DOH. BEE DOH. BEE DOH."
HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR CRUTCH WORDS + DESTROY THEM FOREVER
VERY & LITTLE || My two crutch words of note. I used them all. the. time. One might even say, very often, & not a little. But don't, because that would be lame.
WHY ARE THESE ROTTEN? || They're empty, indefinite. They offer scant information to the reader, & as a result, the reader may (at best) ignore them or (at worst) find they bog down the narration. Writing faux pas.
WHAT TO DO?? || Being as close to my writing as I am, I don't always notice when things go awry. How am I going to notice these mistakes when I'm kind of programmed to overlook them? HERE ARE MY TIPS.
a:: have someone (if at all possible, not yourself) read a sizable portion of your manuscript so they have an idea of which words reoccur + which shouldn't be used
b:: read it aloud (if you don't have anyone to read the manuscript for you +/or you can't stand the thought of anyone seeing your manuscript because i totally appreciate that sentiment) so your voice can catch repetitive words + bring them to your attention
c:: slow down. think about what you're trying to say. find the word you actually need rather than grabbing the literary equivalent of a poptart on your way out the door, late for class.
THERE'S HOPE FOR RECOVERY
Sayeth what?? Yes, it's true! While I was tooling about on The Great Noveling Adventure blog, I came across a link to a Word Frequency Counter, & I thought, "Hey, this looks like fun + like it won't steal my manuscript, let's give it a go!" The results were more encouraging than my pessimistic attitude expected.
I took a scene of 2,200+ words, plunked it into the counter, & this was my result! HOO DA LALLY very
+ little don't even make an appearance in the entire scene! I AM CURED.
MY TAKE-AWAY RECOMMENDATIONS
thank you so much for reading. see you soon! xoxo, jenny