Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday W.I.P.Fix

How are your words working for you?

Recently I edited a book where the author had a habit of writing that the character "kind of" did something.

Jane kind of twitched. Bob kind of ate his sandwich. Cynthia kind of got stuck on -itch words.

I'm not sure why she did this, but I can tell you--I kind of got annoyed with it after awhile. Not only is it extraneous wording (don't forget your Strunk & White: Eschew excess verbiage!) but it kind of weakens the verb. Lord knows, we don't want any weak verbs kind of wandering around our manuscripts.

So today, I have an assignment for you, my little writer bunnies. Go through your current w.i.p. and look for your extraneous catch phrases. Is there anything you unconsciously repeat? And if so, ask yourself--why? What is it about this phrase/word choice/word construction that causes you to use it? Are you afraid of what you're trying to say? Are you telling instead of showing?

Or are you just being kind of lazy?

Remember: As Yoda kind of said: There is no "kind of". There is only "do".

And isn't this "kind of" getting kind of annoying? Yep. I was one cranky editor.


  1. What about "kinda"? ;-P

    Seriously though, I agree. I see it in work too much, and avoid it in my own work (barring dialogue).


  2. Repetitive words generally bug me enough to stop them fairly quickly. My problem is repetitive sentence structure. I tend to use the "Someone did something as something else was happening..." way, way too often. I've really been trying to be more cognizant of that lately.