I’m growing as a writer. How do I know? Because I’m able to delete entire sentences, paragraphs — even scenes — from my first draft without so much as a whimper.

Some of you are nodding–You’ve reached this milestone.

I sympathize with those who have grabbed your keyboard and are clutching it to your bosom in denial. The thought of cutting any of the perfect prose you painstakingly produced makes your palms sweat.

I fought the “kill your darlings” mantra, too.

I fought the “kill your darlings” mantra, too. The words I’d strung together were lyrical, powerful, emotional. Epic in every sense of the word. But they didn’t’ do a dang thing to move my story forward–and that’s the name of the game.

I warmed slowly to the idea of culling my scenes. I wasn’t happy about deleting sentences, paragraphs and characters the story didn’t need. I’m over it now. Now it’s fun to weed out large, unnecessary chucks as well as small words that muck up the engine of a powerful scene.

If you’re ready to do some cutting, but don’t know where to begin, I suggest starting small. Click on Find from the Word menu and search any of the words listed below. Often, they are needless, unexciting and wearisome. You might be surprised at how much your story improves by deleting a few.

If you have a favorite unnecessary word, add it to the list and help your fellow writers.

as

but

could

even

feel

fine

just

might

must

quite

really

shall

should

so

that

there was

used to

very

was

well

will

would

 

 

 

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