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Letting Filler Words Fall out of your Writing


We all know that when leaves fall in a yard during autumn it's time to get to work. While a yard doesn't necessarily look terrible with leaves in it, it won't will awards either. We also know that it is a natural part of the process of growth, that some things have to go. What you don't try to do is keep a tree from having leaves.


This is how I think of 'filler words'. They are a natural part of your first draft because they are a natural part of thinking and talking, but then you want to move from natural to interesting. And, the world is more interesting with out these wo.


In reviewing the Autocrit tool, I began to build my list of filler words. While I knew that I had a love affair with the word 'somehow', I was surprised by my other habits such as my extreme overuse of the word 'just'. I have fed a few pieces into the tool and I'm seeing habits i didn't know I had and a lot of it comes down to having that list and looking for ways to delete or replace those words.


Thesauruses are great.


There are many kinds. I personally prefer the original, Roget's International Thesaurus because it groups words by meaning. Much like the library you can browse a topic by being in the area of your interest. In short you can use words to find words in a much more expansive way than the dictionary form that became popular late last century. The trade off is that the dictionary style is more limited in what you find and quick. The international style is a two step process but you find a world of words that are similar and may both inspire and refine your word selection.


It's interesting to think as a writer you need to both be willing to create the words but also delete them. And in this case, as I'm working with a weekly word count goal, it was a bit harder than it should have been. I wouldn't recommend using Autocrit until you have your first draft done and maybe a pass or two at the edit, depending on the types of edits you need to do on your work.


I have no affiliation with Autocrit.


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